New Apple Watch tracks blood oxygen and heart rate

The debut in a virtual presentation from the new Apple headquarters highlighted the wearable device updates with the ability to track blood oxygen levels.
3:11 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for New Apple Watch tracks blood oxygen and heart rate
We're back now with apple's latest game changer. The tech giant introducing a new apple watch with enhanced health features that could not be more timely. Becky Worley joins us now with all those details for us. Good morning, Becky. Good morning, robin. One in four Americans are estimated to own a smartwatch. Apple wants it to be much higher. Adding new features especially those related to health during a pandemic is a driving factor in the upgrades to the new apple watch 6. In a virtual presentation from the spaceship-like apple park -- Let's get started with apple watch. Reporter: The company updating their wearable device adding tracking for kids and an altimeter, brighter screen and new colors and bands but the main focus -- Apple watch helps people understand so much about their health and fitness and to live a better day. Reporter: Specifically tracking blood oxygen levels. The new blood oxycodone app lets you take a measurement in 15 seconds. Reporter: An abnormally low reading could signal health issues and they say they're working with researchers at the university of Washington school of medicine to explore how it could be used to more rapidly diagnose respiratory diseases including covid-19. What we're doing is we want to understand how measurements from your watch, physiological signals from your watch including heart rate can be used to understand early signals or onset of respiratory conditions. Reporter: But apple has caveats. It says the device which shines light onto your wrist is primarily meant to track fitness. Being that the oxygen sensor isn't fda approved, how do you think consumers should use the information they get? I think it's just another piece of information that they can understand more about themselves. Reporter: Medical experts We want to be sure we don't get false alarms or false reassurance and as with any tool that may help human health we need to vet, validate and test. Reporter: The watch already tracks sleep, sudden falls and irregular heartbeats but one more thing, apple is adding a surprising health monitoring service that could absolutely save lives. Automatic hand washing detection recognizes the motion and sound when washing your hands and encouraging you to continue for the recommended 20 seconds. Notable in yesterday's announcements was the absence of a new iPhone and confirmed a production delay of a few weeks and analysts speculate they will be released later this fall. But I'll tell you the power of these health devices in the watch is personal to me. I gave my mom the previous version of the apple watch and it alerted her to multiple heart events saying she was in AFib. She went to her doctor, was diagnosed with the condition and she's now on medication for a disease that's known as a potentially silent killer. Wow. This new oxygen monitoring, Michael, could be equally powerful. I agree. I'm glad your mom is okay. Okay. Thank you so much.

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