Apple has launched Apple Watch Series 6 in a virtual press conference from Apple Park, its headquarters in California.
Apple expands the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models with the latest version. The newest Watch comes with several new features, including new health and fitness tracking capabilities and an Oximeter.
In terms of health and wellness tracking capabilities, the Watch tracks daily fitness activities such as (treadmill walk, treadmill run, rowing, dance, cycling, yoga, core, strength) sleep, workout types, heartbeat, and irregular heart rhythm or sinus rhythm. Based on users’ workout, the Watch offers intelligent recommendations for exercises, suggests new trainers and workouts routine.
The Oximeter sensor now lets users measure their blood oxygen saturation. The oximeter sensor uses infrared light and photodiodes to detect the color of blood under the skin to calculate blood oxygen saturation. The users are alerted if their blood oxygen levels drop below the reference figure between 95 and 100 percent. On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep.
The Oximeter comes with a connected companion Health app. All of the data will be visible in the app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.
The Watch can also detect atrial fibrillation (AFib) and generates an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. Critical data can also be shared with doctors for further assistance.
“Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With powerful new features, including a Blood Oxygen sensor and app,1 Apple Watch becomes even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall well-being.”
Additionally, Apple is going to conduct three health studies:
- Apple is collaborating with the University of California, Irvine, and Anthem to study how longitudinal measurements of blood oxygen and other physiological signals can help manage and control asthma.
- In partnership with the University Health Network and the University of Toronto, Apple is going to do a study on a study on how metrics, including blood oxygen, can be used to manage heart failure.
- Finally, Apple will study on how heart rate and blood oxygen can signal an early onset of respiratory conditions like flu and COVID-19, with the Seattle Flu Study and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399, and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.
Digital Health Acquisitions
In 2019, Apple acquired patent rights for an in-bed health sensor system from Tueo Health, a provider of a non-contact wireless asthma management sensor that supports pediatric asthma patients to monitor individual, environmental, physiological, and other parameters. In 2018, Apple acquired Finnish company Beddit, a developer of sleep-tracking hardware and software, to further expand into health tracking business.
Image Credit: Apple