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“When Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 4 in September, one of the biggest revelations was the addition of several groundbreaking health-monitoring functions,” Danny Vena writes for The Motley Fool. “”

One “health-related feature is the watch’s ability to detect a potentially life-threatening heart condition. The device contains an electrical heart rate sensor, with electrodes built into the digital crown, which can alert the user if it detects an unusual heart rhythm. It also has a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) function. The wearer can touch the crown to activate the ECG, which can provide results within 30 seconds if it senses atrial fibrillation (AFib), a serious heart condition that can lead to strokes, blood clots, and heart attacks,” Vena writes. “While this capability has the potential to save lives, it also has a downside.”

Touching the Apple Watch Series 4 Digital Crown completes the circuit and electrical signals across the heart are measured.Touching the Apple Watch Series 4 Digital Crown completes the circuit and electrical signals across the heart are measured.

“Earlier this month, Apple released an update called watchOS 5.1.2 for the watch, which activated the irregular-heart-rhythm notification feature and the ECG app. Almost immediately, there were numerous stories of otherwise healthy individuals — with no apparent symptoms — being alerted to the potentially deadly heart condition,” Vena writes. “Early detection is great, but… Some doctors have reported hearing from patients in the middle of the night who were concerned about results they didn’t understand.”

Read more in the full article here.

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