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Brief Published: 14 Sep 2018

New Apple Watch Brings ECG Tech to the Masses

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Apple Watch

Apple has launched the Apple Watch Series 4 at its annual showcase event in Cupertino, Silicon Valley. The latest iteration of its wearable device focuses on health-tracking and wellbeing, with particular relevance for senior and boomer demographics.

The new Apple Watch is the first device from the company to include an electrocardiography (ECG) sensor. ECGs can detect disordered heart rhythms, which can indicate vulnerability to heart attacks and strokes. All data recorded by the ECG is stored in the Apple Health app, a feature that will appeal to the 90% of health tech users happy to share device data with their doctor (Accenture, 2018).

The Apple Watch Series 4 can also detect when its wearer has fallen, using an algorithm to analyse movement and impact. The wearer is sent an alert with the option to dismiss the notification or call the emergency services; if the wearer stays inactive for over a minute, the watch automatically notifies emergency services.

The new Apple Watch's health technology will specifically benefit the senior and boomer demographics. "The key breakthrough here is the ability to notify the support network around elderly people when someone wearing an Apple Watch has fallen over," Lloyd Price, co-founder of digital health company Zesty, tells Stylus. "I think the biggest buyers of Apple Watch will not actually be elderly people, but their carers who want peace of mind."

We're living in an ageing society: the proportion of the world's population over 60 years old is estimated to rise to 22% by 2050 (WHO, 2018). Brands would be wise to follow Apple's example and develop technologies that help to care for older generations.

For more on health tech aimed at boomers and seniors, see our Starkey Hearing Technologies and Papa App blogs.

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