Got a new Apple Watch? Turn on this health monitoring feature


The Apple Watch can be a very good health monitor just by using it, but there are several opt-in features that you must enable to access. Even if you don't plan to exercise with the Apple Watch, you might want to check whether this health monitoring feature is turned on so you can get the best from Apple Watch.

9to5Mac Happy Hour

Update watchOS

First, make sure you are running the latest version of watchOS, the software that supports your Apple Watch. Some features require a newer version of watchOS to work, and all features work well when your Apple Watch is up to date. Our step-by-step guide can help you check the watchOS version of what your Apple Watch is running and help you update to the latest version.

You also want to know which Apple Watch model you have before moving forward. Some features require newer Apple Watch hardware even if you have the latest software. Our guide can help you identify the Apple Watch model you have, and Apple explains which health features work with which watches in this useful chart:

Heart Rate & ECG Warning

The default heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch supports a variety of useful heart monitoring features that work passively in the background. If you have an Apple Watch Series 1 or newer (sorry, the original Apple Watch is excluded), your Apple Watch can remind you when it detects three things.

High Heartbeat A warning is sent when the Apple Watch detects a heart rate above 100-150 beats per minute for 10 minutes of inactivity. You can set which threshold triggers an alert based on 10 bpm intervals.

Low heart rate A warning was triggered when the Apple Watch noticed a heart rate below 40-50 bpm for a 10-minute period. You can set a threshold based on 5 bpm intervals.

Irregular rhythm the warning tells you when the Apple Watch identifies several heart rhythms that can become atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to "strokes, heart failure and other heart related complications" according to the Mayo Clinic.

Each of these features can be turned on and adjusted in the Watch application on the iPhone under the Heart section on the My Watch tab.

If your Apple Watch tells you that an irregular heart rhythm has been detected and you have an Apple Watch Series 4, you can now take an electrocardiogram with a new ECG application directly from your Apple Watch. You can use our guide to learn how to access the ECG application and capture the best results when taking an EKG before sharing the results with your doctor.

If you have an Apple Watch Series 4, you can also use an enhanced heart rate sensor to capture your current heart rate with faster readings and higher fidelity using the Heart and Digital Crown application.

Fall Detection

The Apple Watch Series 4 also introduces fall detection thanks to improved accelerometers and gyroscopes, but is only active by default if the Health app knows you are 65 years or older. From my Series 4 review:

This feature intelligently detects when someone using the Series 4 falls off, presents an option to call emergency services or ignores warnings, then automatically calls emergency services and notifies your emergency contacts if you don't respond within a minute of a detected fall.

Fall detection is turned off by default if you are under 65. Apple says that because younger people often participate in activities that can be misinterpreted as falling, like playing sports, but you can turn it on manually.

You can turn it on manually no matter how old you are in the SOS Emergency section of the Watch application on the iPhone.

You might also want to take a moment and update your emergency contact information from iPhone using our guide. Apple Watch uses this information when a fall is detected and you become unresponsive so that it can automatically notify your emergency contacts.

Related Stories:

Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for other Apple news:


Source link