How the new watchOS 4 heart monitor works

watchOS 4 incorporates an important novelty regarding the function of the Apple Watch that monitors our heart rate. As we were told in the Keynote presentation, The Apple Watch has become a very interesting device for doctors and patients with heart problems, with studies that even suggest the possibility that it may help diagnose an arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation. And with this new feature that brings watchOS 4 further improves in this aspect.

Now your Apple Watch will give you information on your resting heart rate, when you do activity and globally throughout the day, and It is also able to determine your heart rate variability and may even send you alerts if your heart rate is higher than desired. We tell you how it works next.

A cardiac monitor for rest and exercise

If we click on the application Heart Rate of our Apple Watch we can see a record of our heart rate throughout the last day. The data is shown as a graph with a horizontal axis in which we see the different times of the day and another vertical with the heart rate values. The white dots or bars are the different records obtained during that time. If the records have been very similar we will see a point, if there has been very different data we will see scattered points or a bar depending on their variability.

In this application we have three sections that we can access by sliding up or down on the Apple Watch screen. “Current” to see the current measurement and the graph with the data of the whole day, “Rest” to see the average heart rate while we have remained at rest, and in the graph in addition to all the records we will see a red line that does not unionize that mean, and "Walking" to see the mean while we have done some activity, with the red line pointing it.

Much more complete is the Health application to show us the data, since Although the graph is very similar, we can change to an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even annual graph. Just below the graph we will see some boxes in which we are indicated the minimum and maximum heart rate, the average at rest, walking, during a training and even the notifications that have been sent to us because we have exceeded the maximum resting heart rate .

Heart rate variability

A little further down we will see a box in which the heart rate variability is indicated, with a value expressed in milliseconds (ms). This is a new concept that is becoming increasingly valuable for both doctors and trainers. Many diseases affect this data and there are more and more studies about the correlation between this variability and the prognosis of diseases such as diabetes, just to give an example. In training it is a parameter that is used to see the physical state of the person. There are no values ​​set as normal, but each person has their own and the important thing is how they vary over time. This is an increasingly important fact for the practice of exercise and that our Apple Watch will give us in watchOS 4.

High frequency alerts

As noted earlier, Apple boasts how its Apple Watch can help diagnose atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias. Many people do not know they have an arrhythmia because they are often asymptomatic, or they may notice something but they do not know how to recognize it. The Apple Watch will monitor our heart rate and alert us by notification if our frequency exceeds a preset limit. This can be configured within the Watch application of our iPhone, entering the Heart Rate menu. Our maximum heart rate should be set according to our baseline frequency, if you don't know which one you should ask your doctor.

The Apple Watch can save your life

It is not a sensational headline, it is a reality. The Apple Watch not only serves to improve your quality of life by encouraging the practice of sport but can also diagnose a heart disease, and speaking of the heart we are talking about very serious things. An important detail, sOnly Apple Watch Series 1 and up have this feature, since the first Apple Watch model has neither the processor nor the battery enough to do so.

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