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Apple commemorating Heart Month with Apple Watch activity challenge, events in stores

As February is Heart Month, Apple will not just have an activity challenge to mark it, but it will have heart health events in Apple Stores in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates atrial fibrillation can affect up to two percent of the younger population and nine percent of those 65 years and older in the US. The ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature were introduced on Apple Watch last year, which help users identify signs of the problem.

Apple notes that it has continued to receive feedback from customers, telling them that the Apple Watch "has helped them identify heart conditions, seek medical treatment, lose weight, and get more active."

"Cardiovascular disease takes many forms and some are fully preventable through lifestyle changes like increased physical activity and better nutrition. It's always great to see patients make those positive changes, especially with the help of Apple Watch," said Sumbul Desai, MD, Apple's vice president of Health. "Other conditions are more challenging to pinpoint like Afib and this is where we hope to help people access and understand information about their heart health through our irregular rhythm notification and ECG app."

Apple will offer a new Apple Watch Activity Challenge to promote heart health, where anyone who closes their Exercise Ring seven days in a row from February 8 through February 14 will earn a special badge and stickers for Messages on Valentine's Day.

Apple has tapped celebrity fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins, Sumbul Desai, MD, Apple's vice president of Health, Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, Jay Blahnik, senior director of fitness for health technologies, and Julz Arney and Craig Bolton from the Apple Fitness Technologies team for events at Apple Stores. Attendees will hear a discussion about heart health and participate in a new Health & Fitness Walk around the community.

The vents will be at Apple's San Francisco Union Square shop on Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., At Apple Williamsburg in New York on February 21 at 4:30 p.m, and at Apple Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.