Apple Watch update enables ECG functionality

Apple Watch update enables ECG functionality

Apple Watch update enables ECG functionality

The app, called ECG, comes as part of a free software update for the watch, which also brings new Infograph complications for Mail, Maps, Messages, Find My Friends, Home, News, Phone, Remote apps. Keep in mind that this feature is only limited to those with Series 4 watches and those residing in the United States only.

Not anymore. Apple just released its watchOS 5.1.2 update, which adds the highly anticipated ECG app. Tim Cook said in an interview today that improving people's health will be Apple's greatest contribution to mankind. Users will be walked through how to use the ECG and the irregular rhythm feature when their watches are all fully updated and ready to get monitoring. The electrode on the Digital Crown communicates with the other electrode on the Watch, which sits near the heart rate monitor, to take a complete ECG measurement. The new features have been given clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration and are for US customers only. Apple says the watch will notify users if it detects an irregular rhythm on five checks over at least 65 minutes. ECG results taken with the Apple Watch are stored in the Health app, from which they can be exported as a PDF for sharing with your physician.

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The process takes about 30 seconds to complete, and then the Watch will show your measurement as a waveform on its screen along with an explanation of what it means.

ECG reading capabilities are expected to become commonplace in wearables over the next year and could potentially help millions of users identify health concerns more quickly than ever before. Apple will then explain how the ECG app on your Apple Watch will work.

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The feature was first announced by Apple back in September, alongside FDA approval for De Novo classification for the ECG app. Besides the ECG feature, the watch also comes with the fall detection feature which detects the difference between a trip and a fall.

The all-important watchOS 5.1.2 update is rolling out now, so you should have it on your smartwatch over the next couple of days.

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The irregular heart notification is available for older models, too, starting with the "Series 1" model in 2016.

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