Apple Watch Series 4 gets ECG app, irregular heart rhythm notification

Setting up the ECG app

"Starting today, the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 marks the first direct-to-consumer product that enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist", added the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Unfortunately, this ECG feature is only available for Apple Watch Series 4 users in the USA and you can't use it in other countries including Malaysia just yet.

The app has received clarification from the US Food and Drug Administration and it is now available to the Apple Watch Series 4 owners residing in the US only. To take an ECG, you can just open the ECG app on the Series 4 and hold a finger to the digital crown for 30 seconds. When you touch your finger to the latter, it creates a circuit that measures electrical signals from your heart. From there, you can create a report and share your results with a doctor. Users are required to have an iPhone 5s or newer device running iOS 12.1.1 with Apple's Health app installed. With the introduction of the watchOS 5.1.2 users in United States of America will be able to get ECG as well as detect irregular heart rhythm.

The Apple Watch will passively read your heart rate in the background and will warn you if it spots a suspicious pattern.

In order to download watchOS 5.1.2, first of all make sure that you have placed your Apple Watch on its magnetic charger. The study found the ECG app on Apple Watch demonstrated 98.3 percent sensitivity in classifying AFib and 99.6 percent specificity in classifying sinus rhythm in classifiable recordings.

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If you haven't already, you can buy the Apple Watch Series here.

While the ECG feature is for the Series 4 only, all Apple Watches will be able to detect irregular heart rhythm and notify the user that something could be wrong with the 5.1.2 update. However, this feature was not available when company launched the Apple Watch Series 4 and promised to introduce it later this year.

The AFib feature doesn't require the latest Apple Watch, and it checks your heart rate every few hours. Even if the watch does detect a problem with the heart rhythm, the final call have to be taken by a doctor after regular tests have been carried. When there are a series of readings that are out of whack, it will give you a notification.

Also, the watchOS 5.1.2 also brings "Irregular Rhythm Notification" app, which will detect most cases of arrhythmia.

"Apple's largest contribution to mankind will be in improving people's health and well-being", Tim Cook told TIME in a recent interview.

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