Health sensors and deciding to buy the Series 4

The Apple Watch is a fairly important device in my life. In the three years I’ve been wearing one it’s played a significant role in getting me more fit and a supporting role in some major weight loss. It’s also become the most common way I interact with notifications.

All that said, I was not planning to buy the new Apple Watch this year. I got a Series 3 stainless last year and I’ve been very happy with it. I’d intended for it to last me at least another year (if not longer). However, I think the new health sensors in the Series 4 may have changed that.

A big part of the impetus for this is an incident a couple of weeks ago where I stood up too fast, got dizzy, and fell down. I ended up with a pretty good bruise on my hip but was otherwise ok. I’ve talked to my doctor about this and at this point, he doesn’t think it’s a sign of anything serious, but it did get me thinking: what if I had hit my head on the way down instead of my hip? I live by myself, so it’s not like anyone would have been along to help me in the next few minutes (or hours). This incident meant that the health-specific features of the Series 4, especially fall detection, really piqued my interest.

The other Series 4 features would be nice too, those new watch faces look very interesting, for instance, but I could wait another year for those. It’s really the health-related stuff that’s got me seriously considering this.

So now I’m looking at the Series 4 online and looking at what I could get for my used Series 3.


I’m curious about the real benefit of ECG for me, an apparently healthy 40+ who passes health checks.
I thought the AHA(?) guy on stage was wonderfully real and positive, without overselling it. But that leaves me wondering if it’s worth 400 USD for, let’s say, 2 years of use.

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I’m all in on the new series 4. It’s an easier sell for me because of the health related stuff rather than the pricey Xs which have me hedging a little.

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That ECG looks like a fantastic option for people with CVD and related issues. Doctors will be prescribing the Apple Watch and it or some portion of the purchase price) will be tax deductible.

I like everything about the watch’s improvements, from the new capabilities to the bigger screen to the sleekness, yet I still won’t buy one because it doesn’t offer always-on time. Some OLED watches have been able to do it while preserving battery by making the time display basic and muted. My watch is something I repeatedly glance at while down at my side, all day long, and I don’t want to have to learn to make an arm-up gesture to get the time to appear. If Apple had made an always-on option I’d have been first in line for this watch.

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I’ve got an S0, and I’ve been waiting to upgrade. I haven’t really fallen in love with the watch, but I think most of that is because the original model is just so slow for many things.

When Apple announced the new heart sensor and ECG, I knew immediately that Inwould upgrade. My dad has a heart condition, and the doctors aren’t convinced that it isn’t congenial. So even though I’m only 28, I’ve had to do some monitoring of my own heart and health.

I’m excited to finally have a watch that’s more than just a hub for notifications!


The ECG Sensor is really interesting but what I have seen, it only ships with Series 4 in the US. It’s will not be available in Germany at the beginning.

Maybe some regulatory aspects are not yet passed.

I could be wrong, but my impression is that the ECG hardware will ship in all Apple watches, but it won’t be enabled in software (even in the U.S. it’s coming “later this year”).

Regulatory issues is my guess also.

You can buy a Kardia device ($99) to verify that you have (or are) experiencing AFib, but unless you have it strapped to your wrist, it’s not always there ready to alert you if this takes place. The alerts about irregular heartbeats and then the ability to do an on the spot / on the phone ECG are worth more than the watch if you have those conditions.


Chris, FYI, the Apple Giveback program offered me $250 for my SS Series 3 42mm. That’s a good chunk you can put towards a new Series 4. You might want to check it out.


i suffer from proximal afib .

i will buy the watch immediately when it’s available .

have the kardia equipment and don’t like that experience .

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Yep, I’ve been looking and that seems like the best option.

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I’m upgrading to series 4 cellular from series 3 cellular. I have come to rely on this watch, and the new features are compelling enough for me to upgrade. I like the idea of a larger screen, faster processor, slightly thinner size, and the heart health sensors. I’m sticking with the cellular model, despite the higher cost and even though I don’t use it that often. When I need it, it’s nice to have. I thought I was going to be an every other year upgrader, but with the decent trade-in program ($225 for my series 3 cellular aluminum model), I’m OK with the annual upgrade cost.

Apple’s being extremely generous with the trade-in pricing for this model. They really want to bring people into this generation of watches. I have a strong feeling this series is going to be a big hit for them.

I will probably be upgrading as well…

3 weeks ago, my Apple Watch alerted me of the high heart rate (Series 2). I called my doctor, more wondering than anything. He had me come in the next morning, and did an EKG. Atrial Fibrulation. Heart rate of 150. He called a cardiologist to confirm, and said that since they could document that I had been in it for less than 24 hours, I could go to the hospital and have electroncatdioversion immediately.

Four hours later, I walked out of the hospital with a normal heart rhythm after the procedure.

I understand without the mark as to when it started, I may have been a few weeeks getting treated with blood thinners and other things before the procedure could have been done, and the risk of stroke increases.

You can see the heart rate chart on my phone, exactly when it started, and when the procedure was done.

Did my watch save my life? Sounds a little dramatic. Probably not that day, but it may have in a year or two, or longer. Most people don’t even know they have Afib, but they estimate it causes 25 percent of all strokes.

I have never had this problem. Interesting, the health providers take the Applewatch notifications and heart rates seriously. “They are very accurate” I was told by my doctor, who wears one as well (most of my providers that day were wearing them.)

The fall feature… I don’t anticipate needing it, but I didn’t anticitpate the heart feature as well.

Might be a nice Christmas present.


I will be first time Apple Watch buyer with this model 4 the health monitoring, thinness and extra screen real estate has sold me.

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CraigW - That is incredible! Thank you for sharing.