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Dear Tim letters

When the Apple Watch was originally released in 2015, it was pitched as a great watch, an intimate way to communicate, and a comprehensive fitness device. While the original Apple Watch (later renamed Series 0) lacked GPS and was generally a slow device, it has shown dramatic improvements year over year particularly for Apple’s health initiatives.

When Apple released the Series 1 and Series 2 Apple Watches, it added heart rate monitoring for Apple Health. When you enable heart rate monitoring, you  can also turn on heart rate notifications, so you know if your heart rate remains above or below a chosen beats per minute (BPM), or to occasionally check for an irregular heart rhythm. Irregular rhythm notifications are available only with watchOS 5.1.2 or later in certain countries.

With Apple Watch Series 4, Apple added a electrocardiogram monitoring (also known as ECG and EKG). The ECG app on Apple Watch (Series 4 or newer) can record your heartbeat and rhythm using the electrical heart sensor and then check the reading for atrial fibrillation (AFib). It then records that information into the Apple Health app.

Since the release of Apple Watch, there have been countless stories of people’s lives being saved by the health advancements in Apple Watch and Apple’s Health initiatives.

Apple Watch ECG

If you have an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, here’s a how to guide on how to take an ECG.

Apple also includes a Health app on the iPhone where it easy to learn about your health and start reaching your goals. It consolidates data from iPhone, Apple Watch, and third-party apps in one place.

Top Stories on Apple Health

How Apple Watch data helped this man discover he had life-threatening blood clots

apple watch blood clots

We hear a lot of stories from Apple Watch users who say the device has alerted them to potentially life-threatening health issues. A new story out of Ohio, however, is one of the first of its kind.

Ken Counihan says that a combination of respiratory rate and blood oxygen data from his Apple Watch alerted him to a potentially fatal condition last fall…

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Apple Watch finds invisible heart condition for 36-year-old author: ‘It’s not a feature I’d ever expected to use’

A new report from the BBC highlights what is only the latest instance of a person’s Apple Watch alerting them to a potentially deadly heart condition. Adam Croft, a 36-year-old from Bedfordshire, recounted the experience: “It’s not a feature I’d ever expected to use.”

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Apple Women’s Health Study shows promise in predicting serious conditions

Apple Women’s Health Study | Abstract image

Preliminary findings from the Apple Women’s Health Study show that menstrual cycle tracking on iPhone and Apple Watch has the potential to detect risk factors for serious health conditions.

The team behind the study said that this is an under-researched area, and the data from 50,000 study participants is advancing the science in this field …

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Apple VP of Health discusses future of Apple Watch and health in India

Apple VP of Health discusses future of Apple Watch and health in India

Dr. Sumbul Desai has become an important name within Apple. For those unfamiliar, she’s the company’s vice president of health and is directly involved with the development of the Apple Watch. In a recent interview with The Hindu Business Line, Dr. Desai discussed the future of health technologies on the Apple Watch and also about partnerships with Indian researchers.

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Apple unveils latest ways researchers are using Apple Watch to ‘explore new frontiers in heart health’

Apple has announced a handful of new ways the Apple Watch is being used by researchers to “explore new frontiers in heart health/” The company says that upcoming projects include using the Apple Watch ECG app with children and adolescents, measuring the heart health of firefighters, and much more.

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Apple Watch user recounts harrowing health scare: ‘I’d have just passed out and died without ever knowing’


Time and time again, the Apple Watch has been credited with saving lives with its heart monitoring, Emergency SOS, and fall detection features. Now, an Apple Watch user has taken to Reddit to share how their Series 7 saved their life, saying, “I’d have just passed out and died without ever knowing if not for my Apple Watch.”

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Here’s why HRV is important and how can you track it with Apple Watch and iPhone

Use HRV with Apple Watch iPhone

HRV is a valuable overall health metric that’s measured by Apple Watch, however, there’s no native integration in watchOS or iOS to better understand and make use of the data – leaving that to third-party apps. Below we’ll cover what HRV is, why it’s important, and how to record and use HRV with Apple Watch and iPhone.

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Here’s how and why you should set up cardio fitness on Apple Watch and iPhone

How to set up Cardio Fitness on Apple Watch and iPhone

One of the valuable, and lesser-known health features of Apple Watch is cardio fitness. The measurement is based on your VO2 max which Apple Watch can estimate when recording three specific workouts. Follow along for a look at how to use cardio fitness on Apple Watch and iPhone including why it’s important, how to set it up, and how to measure/view cardio fitness levels.

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Study proves Apple Watch is ready for stress monitoring; here are 3 tracking apps so you don’t have to wait

Track stress with Apple Watch

A new study has been published that demonstrates Apple Watch has the accuracy with its heart rate sensor to help users track stress. Fortunately, while we wait to see if Apple will launch a native stress monitoring experience, its wearable already tracks an important stress-related metric that third-party apps are already using.

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New year, new you – How your Apple Watch and iPhone can help with health and fitness goals

New year, new you

Yep, it’s that time of the year when all the “new year, new you” advice abounds – and when people enthusiastically make all kinds of vows to themselves, most of which are forgotten by the end of January.

But as any fitness expert or dietician will tell you, the secret to sustainable change is to set realistic health and fitness goals, which rely on relatively modest changes you can incorporate into your everyday life. The Apple Watch can help you in three ways …

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Working out with Apple Watch? These smart scales sync weight with iPhone

Apple Watch can help you stay motivated to exercise and improve your health, and smart scales that sync data to the iPhone can be a fun and useful way to track your progress. If you want to easily collect your weight and other measurement data in the Health app on iPhone, the trick is to find a scale that works with HealthKit. Here are some of the current options on the market:

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watchOS 9.2 update expands the AFib History feature on Apple Watch to another country

watchOS 9.2 update expands the AFib History feature on Apple Watch to another country

One of the new features introduced with watchOS 9 this year is AFib History, which lets users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation keep records of their heart rhythm data in order to get deeper insights into their condition. Apple has now expanded the availability of AFib History around the world with the watchOS 9.2 update.

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Apple Watch diary: Testing the power of data in meeting health and fitness goals

Health and fitness | Activity rings graphic

Apple originally positioned the Apple Watch as being about three things: productivity, communication, and fitness. While the device can indeed help in all three areas, it quickly became apparent that its core appeal was helping people reach health and fitness goals.

Some years back, my colleague Zac Hall told an inspiring story of using Apple Watch data to successfully lose weight, and I have now decided to follow his example. I have several health and fitness goals I want to hit, and I’m hoping that my Health app data will help keep me on track …

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Track medications and supplements on iPhone: How the new iOS 16 feature works

Track medications on iPhone

The Health app gets fresh capabilities with iOS 16 that will be valuable for many users. A major new feature is the ability to track medications on iPhone (vitamins and supplements too). Read on for a look at how it works to use the iOS 16 feature.

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Apple machine learning speech focuses on benefits for accessibility and health

Apple machine learning | Abstract image of robot head

Apple machine learning projects span almost every aspect of the company’s activities, but in a new speech at an AI conference, a senior exec spoke specifically about the benefits for accessibility and health.

Ge Yue, Apple VP and managing director of Apple Greater China, gave her speech at the 2022 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai …

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Withings reveals its ‘most precise’ smart scale with body composition, cardio and nerve assessment

Withings Body Comp smart scale

Withings has shared an early look at its upcoming health device and the company says it’s the “most precise and complete smart scale” and also comes with “its first advanced services offer.” The Body Comp smart scale with Apple Health integration will be launching on October 4 with full body composition measurements, cardiovascular and nerve assessments, and more.

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