Apple rolls out ECG, health features for Watch Series 4

The new Apple Watch Series 4 can intermittently check the user’s heart rhythm in the background and send a notification if it detects irregular heart rhythm

tech Updated: Dec 08, 2018 12:51 IST
Associated Press
apple watch,apple watch series 4,apple watch series 4 ecg
Apple Watch’s ECG feature is now available for users in the US.(AP)

Apple Watch is now fulfilling its promise to let people take ECGs of their heart and notify them of any irregular heartbeat.

Apple announced the heart features for the Watch Series 4 in September, but didn’t make them available until Thursday. The new features have been given clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration and are for US customers only.

The Apple Watch can intermittently check the user’s heart rhythm in the background and send a notification if it detects irregular heart rhythm. That can point to atrial fibrillation, a condition that can increase the risk of stroke and other complications. Apple says the watch will notify users if it detects an irregular rhythm on five checks over at least 65 minutes.

When symptoms appear, users can also take an ECG, or electrocardiogram, and share that with doctors. This feature is available for the latest, Series 4 version of the watch. The app, called ECG, comes as part of a free software update for the watch. The irregular heart notification is available for older models, too, starting with the “Series 1” model in 2016. It doesn’t work with the original, 2015 model.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch is evolving from niche gadget to medical device

Apple is adding medical features to make the watch feel more useful to people. A fall detection feature launched in September. It claims to be able to tell the difference between a trip and a fall — and when the latter occurs, it will suggest calling 911 (or the equivalent outside the US).

If it receives no response within a minute, the Apple Watch will automatically place an emergency call and message friends and family designated as emergency contacts.

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 12:50 IST