Apple expands health alerts on the Apple Watch. With version 7.2 of watchOS, users can be alerted when their fitness level is considered low. The watch will then offer advice on how to improve cardio fitness by exercising more, and also provide tips on how to "have a conversation with your doctor about how to do so", as Apple announced. It is a "clinical assessment", so the manufacturer.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important "variable in predicting overall health, Apple stressed", Apple stressed, citing the American Heart Association – low cardio fitness can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiofitness assessment with comparison and low level warning feature.
VO2max for fitness assessment
Apple uses the Watch’s maximum oxygen capacity (VO2max) to determine the wearer’s cardio fitness. The VO2max value is estimated by the watch based on heart rate and exercise data – common practice for sports watches and smartwatches. As of watchOS 7.2, lower data will now also be recorded by the watch estimating the maximum oxygen capacity in the background during exercise over the course of the day, even without performing a training session, as Apple explains. Previously, VO2max was only collected by the Apple Watch during workouts (running, hiking, brisk walks) – and was thus only available to users who were already active.
On the iPhone, the Health app as of iOS 14.3 additionally provides an assessment of whether the cardio fitness level is classified as high or low and above or below average in comparison to age group and gender. Apple uses the Mayo Clinic fitness database for this purpose. Cardiofiness alerts are optional and must be activated by the user.
Improved ECG app
With watchOS 7.2, Apple is shipping version 2 of the ECG app in the first regions. It is also said to now be able to test for atrial fibrillation at a heart rate of up to 150 beats per minute (BPM), compared to only 120 BPM with version 1 of the app. Even at heart rates above 100 BPM, the ECG app has so far shown, under certain circumstances "ambiguously" as a result, this should not happen with version 2.