Apple Watch Series 4: A Heart Patient’s Perspective

When an ordinary healthy consumer looks at Apples new Watch Series 4, with its updated health-related sensors and its new ability to do a real-time electrocardiogram, they most likely see a more modern and better model of this watch, but the heart health features are not relative to them. One of the comments I heard from some of the younger journalists at Apple’s launch event was, “this new watch is for older people.”

First, let me address the relativity of this watch to all users, not just older ones who might have heart issues. The significant new features in this Apple Watch are specialized sensors that can detect early signs of AFIB, something that can causes strokes and even heart attacks. Then you have the additional ECG capability that monitors heart rhythms and can give your Dr. a map of your heart rate and look for any irregularities.

When I was younger, I was very athletic and felt invincible. Even in my late 20s, it seemed that I could burn the candle at both ends and stay very active. In my early 30’s I was running 5 miles three times a week. However, during a physical at age 33, my doctor discovered I had high blood pressure. I was in peak health, yet I had high blood pressure. Some of it was hereditary, and part of it was eating habits related. While I could correct the eating issue, it took medications to deal with the genetic problem. So at 33, I became a lifelong heart patient.

Over the years I have seen quite a few friends struggle with heart-related issues even at an early age. One of the top leaders in Tech in the 1980’s had a stroke in his late 20’s, and this has impacted his life ever since then. I have even had a friend who died of a heart attack at age 23. There are so many factors that go into one’s potential of developing heart disease at any age, that starting to monitor this particular health issue even in the younger stage of one’s life has merit. That is why I dismiss the idea that Apple’s Series Watch 4 with its heart health monitoring features are just for old people. I believe it has serious heart tracking health features that should be relative to anyone over 20 years of age.

From my own perspective as a heart patient, this watch is even more relevant to me than the ones in the past. I have two strikes against me. I have been a type 2 diabetic since 1995, and in 2012 I had a triple bypass. Without the Apple Watch, I have been monitoring my health in great detail over these years and use a blood pressure cuff daily. I also use Dexcom’s G6 Continuous Glucose monitor 24/7. This allows me to see my blood sugar readings any time I want to check on them. (I initially used a separate handheld device to look at these readings, but since Dexcom made it work on an Apple Watch, I now glance at my watch to see any current blood sugar measurement)

If a person has been diagnosed with heart disease, this watch could be critical to them. However, even if they haven’t had a heart disease diagnosis, the potential of AFIB in anyone at any age may be worth the expense of having an Apple Watch keep tabs on their heart health.

Apple has had thousands of letters from people who have had the Apple Watch alert them to health issues that got them to mention it to their doctors for immediate treatment. Apple has also had hundreds of letters from people who told them that the Apple Watch has saved their lives.

So, what other health features could Apple Bring to the market in the future? There have been many rumors that Apple could be creating their Continuous Blood Glucose monitoring system. Moreover, it is not too far fetched to believe that Apple could add another unique sensor that worked with an inflatable band that could read blood pressure.

I believe that the Apple Series Watch 4, with its advanced heart health monitoring features, will prove to be even more important to millions of people over the age of 20. This new Watch has much higher value than past models, and I suspect it could become Apple’s best selling model to-date as these new health monitoring features will have a greater appeal to a broader audience around the world.

Published by

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

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