Why I don’t want new health sensors in Apple Watch Series 7

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Does Apple Watch need more health sensors?
Does Apple Watch need more health sensors?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Since Apple Watch gets a hardware update like clockwork every fall, it’s a safe bet we’ll see a Series 7 model next month alongside the iPhone 13. There are plenty of rumors about what to expect, including a better display and a new flat-edged design, both of which sound great to me.

But I’m less keen on the prospect that Apple Watch Series 7 might come with additional health sensors. Here’s why.

ECG device-maker accuses Apple Watch of infringing on its patents

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Apple Watch heart rate monitor
They want Apple blocked from importing Apple Watches into the U.S.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

AliveCor, a company which makes Apple device-compatible, FDA-cleared ECG devices, has sued Apple for allegedly infringing on three of its patents with the Apple Watch. An ECG — or electrocardiogram — records the rhythm, the rate, and the electrical activity of the heart.

The health-conscious startup claims, in a press release, that Apple is trying to “eliminate” it as competition in this space. Until the matter is settled, it wants a judge to stop Apple from importing the Apple Watch into the United States. That would, in essence, stop Apple from selling the Apple Watch in its biggest market.

Apple Watch ECG on its way to Australia after government approval

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Apple Watch ECG
One of Apple Watch's best features is expanding its reach.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch’s terrific ECG feature is one step closer to going live in Australia after receiving government approval. It comes just a month after Australia approved the device’s irregular heart rhythm notifications.

It’s not yet clear when Apple will make the feature available to Apple Watch owners.

watchOS 6.2.8 brings digital car keys to Apple Watch

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watchOS 6.2.8 is out now!
Digital car key support in watchOS 6.2.8 has the potential to make Apple Watch much more useful.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Starting Wednesday, an Apple Watch can be used to unlock a car, replacing the key, thanks to the release of watchOS 6.2.8. But it’s early days yet for this feature, as it doesn’t yet have wide support.

In addition, this software update enables people in a handful of additional countries to take advantage of the ECG in Apple’s wearable.

watchOS 6.2 arrives with in-app purchases and ECG support for 3 new countries

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Apple Watch likely will gain new health-related features.
Apple Watch ECG functionality just got unlocked for more people.
Photo: Apple

Apple pushed out a big software update to Apple Watch wearers today that expands ECG functionality on the Series 4 and Series 5 to users in Chile, Turkey and New Zealand.

watchOS 6.2 was released to the public today alongside iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4. The new watchOS update also adds a couple of new features, including the ability to make in-app purchases for Apple Watch apps.

Cardiologist sues Apple over its heart-reading Apple Watch tech

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Apple Watch alerts user of irregular heart rhythms in sleep
Apple Watch's atrial fibrillation tech may have helped save lives.
Photo: Apple

A New York University cardiologist has filed a lawsuit against Apple, relating to its atrial fibrillation-detecting heart-reading tech for Apple Watch.

Apple Watch’s heart-reading tech has been hailed as a major breakthrough. Its ability to alert users of irregular heartbeats has been validated by experts from Stanford University. The problem? That according to Dr. Joseph Wiesel, it’s infringing on his patented work.

Huge study confirms Apple Watch ECG accurately detects AFib

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Apple Watch Meidcare
Doctors found that if your Apple Watch ECG indicates you have a heart problem, you almost certainly do.
Photo: Apple

The electrocardiogram built into recent Apple Watch models isn’t likely to give wearers false notifications that they have atrial fibrillation, a potentially dangerous heart condition. A clean bill of health for this wearable’s ECG is the conclusion of a study involving over 400,000 participants that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Apple hires another top cardiologist to boost health initiatives

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Apple health care
Apple Watch’s heart-monitoring capabilities could see future improvements thanks to prominent cardiologists hired by Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Dr. David Tsay recently joined Apple, apparently to bring new features to devices like the Apple Watch that monitor the wearer’s heart. He’s an expert in the field, and also just left a position as Associate Chief Transformation Officer for NewYork-Presbyterian Innovation Center.

This is the second prominent cardiologist brought onboard in two years.

Fitbit hopes to copy Apple Watch’s ECG

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Fitbit Ionic takes on Apple Watch
Fitbit’s offerings have become more sophisticated as they try to catch up to Apple Watch.
Photo: Fitbit

A highlight of the Apple Watch is the ability to tell if the wearer has a heart problem called atrial fibrillation, and rival wearable-maker Fitbit is working to add AFib detection to its smart watches.

What to expect from Apple’s innovation-focused iPhone event

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Apple 2019 Fall press event invitation
Apple is promising tons of innovation.
Photo: Apple

A whole lot of innovation is in the offing for Apple’s biggest hardware event of the year. CEO Tim Cook recently promised that Apple will unleash its strongest product lineup ever, and next week’s “By Innovation Only” event could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to a glut of leaked info, we have a pretty solid idea about what new hardware to expect during the event. iPhones obviously will steal the spotlight, but Apple might unleash a few surprises as well.

This is what we think we’ll see during the 2019 iPhone keynote, which starts at 10 a.m. Pacific on September 10. Apple will live-stream it from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.