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The newest Apple Watch is a heart-health tracking, trendy riff on Life Alert


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Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch has made major (and helped countless workout warriors take literal) strides since it burst the fit-tech bubble in 2015. The device has eliminated the need to strap your phone to your arm during your morning jog, tagged along on your laps across the swimming pool, and even helped diagnose thyroid issues. Outdoing itself again, today Apple announced the Series 4 edition (starting at $399) as the latest-and-greatest health hero of wearables.

The newly minted wellness accessory will be available to order starting September 14th, Apple reports, and it packs a few unique features designed to bring the wearer—and their doctors—closer than ever to an all-encompassing peek at their body’s inner workings. One such element of the design enables taking an ECG—or a recording of the heart’s electrical activity—straight from the watch’s digital crown. The smart tech inside the watch then assesses whether the heart rhythms are normal or exhibiting symptoms aligned to issues like atrial fibrillation.

Perhaps most notably, all this data doesn’t just sit untouched in cyberspace. Instead, Apple funnels all of it into the Health app in the form of a handy, dandy PDF that you can hand over to your physician next time you go in for a checkup. This isn’t the first time Apple’s sphere has collided with the medical industry, though. Last year, the tech giant and Aetna (which already provides Apple Watches to employees) were in talks to extend that sweet perk to all of its insurance customers, but there’s still no word on whether that killer, or rather, anti-killer collab will come to fruition. If it does, docs would theoretically get more specific and in-depth insight into patients’ health profiles, leading to more precise and immediate diagnoses, to keep people healthier and medical costs lower. Talk about a mutually beneficial relationship, right?

Apple funnels the Watch data into the Health app in the form of a handy, dandy PDF that you can hand over to your physician next time you go in for a checkup.

The newest member of the Apple family isn’t the only wearable watch to offers these types of groundbreaking, data-driven features though. Kardia Brand also offers ECG and FitBit partnered with Google earlier this year to send health data from its devices to doctors. However, Apple Watch Series 4 might just be the only wearable out there with both of those features built into one product—and more.

The watch also boasts a feature that Apple calls “fall detection,” which uses two technologies known as accelerometer and gyroscope to tell when you’ve taken a hard fall, à la Life Alert. If after a minute, it doesn’t detect any movement, it can call 911.

Let’s just hope this arm candy can deliver on all its promised advantages, but especially the super-sensitive fall-detection software. Because TBH, a visit from the paramedics every. single. time. you haphazardly drop your digi-jewelry might get old after a while.

Speaking of state-of-the-art fit-tech, here’s what you need to know about the fancy heart-rate monitor that everyone’s talking about, and the pad that might soothe your period cramps

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