The ability to take an ECG reading from your wrist was arguably the highlight of Apple's unveiling of the latest version of the watch a few months ago. This feature would help users identify the signs of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common form of irregular heart rhythm and if left untreated can even lead to death.
Who can access the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification?
The update adds the ECG app to Watch Series 4 devices in the States (where the ECG is now only available) and also unlocks irregular heart rate warnings on all Apple Watch from Series 1 through to Series 4.
With the ECG app rolling out today, Jeff Williams sat down for a brief interview with TIME where he called the ECG app a huge opportunity to improve lives.
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For those unaware, the new watchOS 5.1.2 is available to the Watch Series 1, 2 and 3 (review) and 4. In a substudy of participants that received notifications-while wearing both the watch and an ECG patch-80% showed atrial fibrillation readings on the patch, while 98% showed either atrial fibrillations or other arrhythmias.
If the ECG app detects a normal rhythm, users will be informed that they have a standard sinus rhythm. To comply with United States regulations, Apple has also announced that it will honor refund requests related to health features for up to 45 days after purchase. The ECG results are stored on your iPhone in the Health app.
The wearable will categorize a hearth rhythm as either sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, or inconclusive. From there, you can create a report and share your results with a doctor.
With that out of the way, you can download the latest update for all compatible watches over the air.
"There's a huge opportunity to empower people with more information about their health", Williams said.
"With the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature, customers can now better understand aspects of their heart health in a more meaningful way."Desai added".