The new iPhones have been announced — iPhone 8, 8s and the expensive X model — and we also got to see the brand new Apple Watch, which can now be used to take and make phone calls. The Apple Watch 3 with LTE connectivity will sell for $399, while the model that can't take phone calls will go for $329.
What makes the new Watch even more digital health tool (than previous iterations) is its improved heart monitoring technology that will be tested later this year in the Apple Heart Study, conducted together with the help of Stanford and FDA.
According to Apple's COO Jeff Williams, the Cupertino-based company has a big opportunity to improve the wellbeing of a big part of population since it has the most widely used heart rate monitor in the world — the one inside every Apple Watch.
To that end, Apple has updated its heart rate app that will now provide even more insight on the user's heart rate. It includes measures for resting heart rate, workout, and recovery; also provided is the option to inform users when their resting heart rate is elevated beyond their baseline rate. That last feature alone could be a life-saver, as it could alert users when they have an arrhythmia or irregular heart-beat, which can indicate a more serious heart condition such as often-undiagnosed atrial fibrillation. In addition, the watch will be able to detect sleep apnea.
As for the mentioned study, it will require participants to take a questionnaire and their activity data will be collected through their iPhone or smartwatch for seven days. Users will also do a 6-minute walk test, enter information about risk factors and blood tests to determine their risk score. From there, the app will prompt users every three months to update their data, all while providing advice on how to improve their activity and heart health.
In a recent interview with Fortune, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it sees healthcare as one of the company's opportunities for future growth.