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All Eyes on Subscription-based Apple TV+, Arcade Gaming

With the simplicity of a single subscription, Apple Arcade will bring games to the App Store’s more than one billion gaming customers

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Apple TV service began rolling out in over 100 countries, including India which comes bundled with Apple TV+, the company's original video subscription service. Wikimedia Commons

The global revenues from streaming video services will reach $159 billion in 2024 — more than double the figure of $68 billion in 2018. In 2019, the global revenue total is projected to reach about $85 billion, says latest data from Digital TV Research.

Apple is not far from the reality and is set to give a mega push to its Apple TV+ subscription TV service that will take popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu head on.

According to a report in The Financial Times, Apple has committed $6 billion to its original TV shows and movies budget for its upcoming Apple TV+ service.

This is a huge jump in Apple’s budget for original shows as the company earlier set aside $1 billion for bringing renowned creators and actors to its platform.

The on-demand subscription service will come with brand new programming from the world’s celebrated artists including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and others.

Earlier in March, it was announced that Apple’s on-demand subscription service will start in over 100 countries this fall.

Apple TV+ is expected to go live about the same time when Disney unveils Disney+ service on November 12.

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FILE – Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the Apple TV during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, March 21, 2016. VOA

Disney will charge $6.99 a month for Disney+, or $12.99 a month for a bundled package that also includes Disney-owned ESPN+ and Hulu’s ad-supported streaming TV offering, say reports, adding that Apple TV+ may debut at $10 per month by November.

Apple in March announced its first-ever game subscription service called Apple Arcade that will feature over 100 new and exclusive games, including original releases from renowned creators like Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong and Will Wright.

Apple Arcade is also slated to launch in fall 2019 in more than 150 countries from a new tab on the App Store across iOS, macOS and tvOS.

“We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

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“Apple Arcade games will be great for families, respect user privacy and will not have ads or require any additional purchases,” he added.

The App Store currently has nearly 300,000 free and paid games.

With the simplicity of a single subscription, Apple Arcade will bring games to the App Store’s more than one billion gaming customers. (IANS)

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Doctors Feel Blessed on New Heart Health Tools in Apple Watch in India

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India

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Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
"The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted." Pixabay

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India, stressing that it will make people more aware about their heart health.

Although the Apple Watch will not provide a final conclusion into whether a person is actually suffering from Atrial fibrillation (AFib) — irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clot formation in the heart which then embolises to the brain causing stroke — the readings will make more Indians consult their physicians about their heart health, doctors feel.

Although accurate worldwide estimates are lacking, calculations suggest that over one per cent of the adult population is affected in the developed world, wrote Vijay Bohra, Gautam Sharma and Rajnish Juneja from Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in their research.

“In our country, there is virtually no data on AF (AFib), most of the data that has been derived is from international studies with an Indian cohort,” the trio wrote, adding that there is “indeed a dearth of data on epidemiologic outcomes in patients of rheumatic AF in the country leading to inconsistent practice patterns as regards medical therapy, especially oral anticoagulation”.

According to Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, AFib is more prone in those patients who are predisposed to have AFib and stroke.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Comparisons between irregular pulse-detection on Apple Watch and simultaneous electrocardiography patch recordings showed the pulse detection algorithm has 71 per cent positive predictive value. Pixabay

“Generally, we do holter monitoring (a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm) or extended holter monitoring which is a 24-hour ECG monitoring system, to detect AFib in the patients. However, it is not always necessary that these 2-3 episodes of AFib will occur during the time of the holter monitoring,” Goel told IANS.

Hence, in such cases, Apple Watch will be playing a vital role in detecting AFib in time, he added.

“Having said this, a person must wear the Watch both during day and night so that the occurrence of AFib is detected well in time,” Goel suggested.

New electrodes built into the back crystal and Digital Crown on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, work together with the ECG app to enable customers to take an ECG similar to a single-lead reading.

To take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification, hold their finger on the Digital Crown. As the user touches the Digital Crown, the circuit is completed and electrical signals across their heart are measured.

After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive.

Sanjiv Bhardwaj, Associate Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology at Jaypee Hospital Noida said that smartwatches and fitness bands are now playing a vital role in updating the users about their heart health and the possible risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease. Pixabay

“Advanced and modern features like an ECG app and irregular heart rhythm monitor will surely be a huge help to the users. They can easily get the notifications about their heart rhythm and its classification in less than a minute.

“The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted,” Bhardwaj told IANS.

With watchOS 6, the irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch Series 4 and the upcoming Series 5 on September 27 will use the optical heart sensor to occasionally check the user’s heart rhythm in the background for signals of an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be AFib.

If irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is identified on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes, a notification will be generated to alert the user.

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“Technology is moving at lightning speed and Apple is surely abreast with it. Rhythm identification via the phone is no longer a dream,” said Aparna Jaswal, Associate Director, Cardiology & Electrophysiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi.

“Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease,” she said.

The irregular rhythm notification feature was recently studied in the Apple Heart Study. With over 400,000 participants, the Apple Heart Study was the largest screening study on atrial fibrillation ever conducted. (IANS)