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Apple’s New Smartwatch Could Help Home-Based Care Providers

Posted on Friday, September 21, 2018 12:51 PM

Last week Apple revealed it’s redesigned and re-engineered Apple Watch. The device tout’s new health capabilities, such as a fall-detection feature, low heart rate alert, heart rhythm and an electrocardiogram monitor. Curbing re-hospitalizations and emergency department visits is a major focus for home health and home care companies — and preventing falls in the home is a big piece of that puzzle.

“The Apple Watch Series 4 uses a built-in, next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope that measures up to 32 g-forces — along with custom algorithms — to reliably identify when hard falls take place, according to the company. After identifying a hard fall by analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, the smartwatch also sends users an alert, which they can then dismiss or use to start a call with emergency services if needed.

If the device senses 60 seconds of immobility, it will automatically call emergency services, as well as send a message with location information to users’ personal emergency contacts.

Expenditures related to falls and fall-related injuries are estimated to cost billions of dollars every year and could grow to nearly $60 billion by 2020, according to the HUD.”

“Besides fall detection, Apple’s latest smartwatch model also comes with a new electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using a dedicated app, which as been granted de novo classification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. De novo classification applies to new, novel devices whose type has previously not been classified.

Through the app, users will be able to tell if their hearts are beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that could lead to further health complications. Biometric data taken via the smartwatch can be stored in the app and shared with physicians.”

In addition to the new health capabilities, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified the new Apple Watch as a category 2 medical device and it is also more than 30% larger than the most recent model, which may also be appealing to some seniors.

The Apple Watch Series 4, with both GPS, and cellular service costs $499 and is now available for preorder.

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