Today, Apple announced the new Apple Watch 3 will be rolling out several health and fitness features included with OS4, like smart activity coaching, new features for swimmers, Gym Connect and an enhanced heart rate monitor.
Apple will enhance the heart rate app to monitor measurements like resting heart rate, recovery heart rate and a notification for an elevated heart rate when you don’t appear to be active. The other interesting thing to note is the tracking of heart rhythm. This is particularly helpful for those with an irregular heart beat or who may not know they have one.
To go along with this new addition, Apple announced the Apple Heart Study to look at irregular heart rhythms using data from the Apple Watch and in partnership with Stanford medicine.
“A regular heart rhythm has a familiar pattern, but when your heart beats irregularly it’s called arrhythmia,” explained Apple exec Jeff Williams. “That can cause problems, the most common form is AFIB, it affects tens of millions of people and is a leading cause of stroke.”
Apple previously teamed up with a startup called Cardiogram to track irregular heart rhythm in conjunction with the University of California San Francisco. That initial study found the Watch was able to detect an abnormal heart rhythm with a 97 percent accuracy.
Cook hinted at Apple’s future in health care in an interview on Monday, telling Fortune some of what the company is working on would be a profitable endeavor and some of it might not be.
Apple has already included several appetizing features in previous Watch editions for health and fitness enthusiasts, making it one of the more attractive smartwatches on the market.
With the rollout of OS4, the Watch will now hook up with treadmills and other gym machines using the new Gym Connect for workout data, track heart health, be swimproof, sweatproof and have the battery life, to boot.
The latest updates for OS4, coming September 19, 2017, play into Apple’s forward-looking bet on the Watch as a one-stop hub for our healthcare needs.