Apple Watch ECG App and Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification Now Available

Apple Watch ECG
Image: Apple

The ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification on Apple Watch 4 is now officially available. The ECG app enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist, capturing heart rhythm in a moment when they experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heart beat and helping to provide critical data to physicians, announced Apple.

Another great feature, the irregular rhythm notification on Apple Watch series 4 occasionally checks your heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if it detects an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib). The tech giant has worked with FDA for several years to receive De Novo classification for its ECG app and the irregular heart rhythm notification.

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Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. AFib affects up to 2% of the younger population and 9% of those 65 years and older in the US, according to CDC. The availability of the ECG app and the irregular heart rhythm notification with a free update to watchOS 5.1.2 will help users identify signs of AFib.

“Apple Watch has helped so many people around the world and we are humbled that it has become such an important part of our customers’ lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With the release of these heart features, Apple Watch takes the next step in empowering people with more information about their health.”

Apple Watch ECG
Image: Apple

Sumbul Desai, MD, Apple’s vice president of Health said they’re confident that these health tracking features will help users have more informed conversations with their physicians. “With the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature, customers can now better understand aspects of their heart health in a more meaningful way,” he said.

The ECG App

Taking an ECG on the Apple Watch 4 is easy. All you need to do is launch the app and then touch the Digital Crown with your finger. It measures electrical signals across your heart. After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored securely in the Health app on iPhone. Users can share the results with their physicians.

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Irregular Rhythm Notification

The irregular rhythm notification feature will occasionally check the user’s heart rhythm in the background for signs of an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be AFib and alerts the user with a notification if an irregular rhythm is detected on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes.