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Main » ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification available today on Apple Watch

ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification available today on Apple Watch

09 December 2018

While the ECG support is a feature now only reserved for the Watch Series 4, the watchOS 5.1.2 update will also bring a new heart rate feature that will work with the Watch Series 1 and later.

Scroll down to Heart on the Today or Health Data screens. The Watch will then record your ECG and save it in the Apple Health app.

While users have already been able to get notifications about irregular heart rhythms, the ECG will take things a step further.

The entire TIME piece is well worth checking out as it also provides us with an interesting timeline as to how Apple's interest in transforming the Apple Watch into a health-oriented device evolved over time. Both of those software updates are of course now available to the public, and can be downloaded and installed over the air (OTA) by opening the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General Software Update. This includes all watches except the original one since it does not officially support watchOS 5 and support for it was axed when the latest software update was released.

In his interview with CBS This Morning, Jeff Williams admitted that there will be some false detection of AFib, but that the benefits of having the tech available to more people far outweigh the cons.

New ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 (US and United States territories only).

The device can detect irregularities in your heartbeat, which can point to critical conditions like atrial fibrillation that may result in a stroke. There are crystal electrodes at the back of the watch to identify the heart's electrical impulses from the user's wrist.

The ECG app's ability to accurately classify an ECG recording into AFib and sinus rhythm was validated in a clinical trial of around 600 participants. You can also tap on Export a PDF for your Doctor to share a more detailed report easily.

As mentioned above, the ECG reading from the Apple Watch Series 4 might not be as accurate as a dedicated machine. If you wouldn't talk on speakerphone, you shouldn't talk on your Apple Watch.

In that sub-study, of the participants that received an irregular rhythm notification on their Apple Watch while simultaneously wearing an ECG patch, 80 percent showed AFib on the ECG patch and 98 percent showed AFib or other clinically relevant arrhythmias.

If you buy the new Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, you can even make calls on the Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby.

ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification available today on Apple Watch