The Apple Watch is inching toward becoming a medical device

Michael Liedtke, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 13, 2018
By Michael Liedtke, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CUPERTINO, CA—Apple is slowly evolving its smartwatch into a medical device.

The latest version of the Apple Watch will add features that allow it to take high-quality heart readings and detect falls. It's part of Apple's long-term strategy to give people a distinct reason to buy a wrist gadget that largely does things smartphones already do.

Since the Apple Watch launched in April 2015, most people haven't figured that they need one. Apple doesn't release sales figures, but estimates from two analysts suggest the company shipped roughly 18 million of the gadgets in 2017. Apple sold almost twelve times as many iPhones – 216 million – that year.

The latest model can take electrocardiograms, or EKGs, which test for irregular heartbeats that usually require a doctor visit.

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