Sunday December 16, 2018

Apple Watch Helps Users in US Take ECG

The irregular rhythm notification feature was studied in the Apple Heart Study with over 400,000 participants, said Apple

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Apple to update iPhones in China to avoid ban. Flickr Commons
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Apple Watch Series 4 will now help users in the US take an electrocardiogram (ECG) right from their wrist, capturing heart rhythm in a moment when they experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heart beat and helping to provide critical data to physicians.

“New electrodes in Apple Watch Series 4 now enable customers to take an ECG directly from the wrist,” Apple said in a statement on Thursday.

“Starting today, the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 marks the first direct-to-consumer product that enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist,” added the Cupertino-based tech giant.

The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can now occasionally check heart rhythms in the background and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

When left untreated, AFib is one of the leading conditions that can result in stroke, the second most common cause of death around the world.

“Apple Watch has helped so many people around the world and we are humbled that it has become such an important part of our customers’ lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer.

“With the release of these heart features, Apple Watch takes the next step in empowering people with more information about their health,” he added.

Apple worked with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for several years to receive “De Novo” classification for the ECG app and the irregular heart rhythm notification.

Both the features are now available as part of a free update to watchOS 5.1.2.

Apple Watch
“New electrodes in Apple Watch Series 4 now enable customers to take an ECG directly from the wrist,” Apple said in a statement on Thursday. Flickr

This is how it works.

To take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification, open the new ECG app and hold your finger on the Digital Crown.

As you touch 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. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored securely in the Health app on iPhone. Users can share a PDF of the results with physicians,” Apple informed.

All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored securely in the Health app on iPhone, said Apple.

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Using the optical heart sensor in Apple Watch Series 1 or later, the irregular rhythm notification feature will occasionally check the user’s heart rhythm in the background for signs of an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be Fib and alerts the user with a notification if an irregular rhythm is detected on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes.

“The role that technology plays in allowing patients to capture meaningful data about what’s happening with their heart, right when it’s happening, like the functionality of an on-demand ECG, could be significant in new clinical care models and shared decision making between people and their healthcare providers,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The ECG app’s ability to accurately classify an ECG recording into AFib and sinus rhythm was validated in a clinical trial of around 600 participants.

The irregular rhythm notification feature was studied in the Apple Heart Study with over 400,000 participants, said Apple. (IANS)

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Apple Decides to Update iPhones in China To Avoid Ban

The ban does not cover the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus or iPhone XR, which were not yet available when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Apple to update iPhones in China to avoid ban. Flickr Commons

Apple has decided to update iPhones in China to avoid a ban after a court ruling banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple.

According to a report in The New York Times on Friday, the Cupertino-based tech giant said it would update the software of iPhones in China early next week to try to resolve the legal dispute.

The company said it would update its iPhones “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order”.

“Apple said its update would change the iPhones’ software so it did not infringe on Qualcomm patents, which relate to switching between apps and changing the size and appearance of photographs,” said the report.

Apple and Qualcomm are suing one another in courts across the world. Billions of dollars are at stake, and each side has claimed some victories.

A Chinese court had banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple, a stunning decision that comes amid the trade war between the US and China.

Apple, however, is still selling iPhones in China.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

According to Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Apple is violating the court’s order.

“They are legally obligated to immediately cease sales, offers for sale and importation of the devices identified in the orders and to prove compliance in court,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple has also appealed against the Chinese court ruling.

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It accused Qualcomm of playing dirty tricks, including asserting a patent that had already been invalidated by international courts, and other patents that it had never before used.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in a statement earlier this week.

The ban does not cover the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus or iPhone XR, which were not yet available when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit. (IANS)