New Delhi: Two of the most sought after features in Apple Watches since Series 4 have been the ability to take ECG (electrocardiogram) readings using the ECG app and get irregular heart rhythm notification. Meant to help users detect signs of AFib (atrial fibrillation), the two new options are finally available to users in India with an update to watch OS 6. First announced in September 2018, the two options were released only in US in December 2018, after clearance by the US' FDA ( Food & Drug Administration).
For ECG readings, user has to touch and hold the digital crown, to allow the electrodes built into it along with the ones built on the back of the Watch to complete a circuit and measure the electrical signals passing across the heart. With the ECG app, users can take readings anytime they want or after an irregular rhythm notification, which is calculated by frequently checking the heart rhythm in the background via the optical heart sensor on the back.
If the Watch detects Afibs repeatedly even after five rhythm checks in a time span of 65 minutes, a notification is automatically sent to the user.
All ECG readings, their classification and highlighted symptoms are safely tucked away in the Health app on the iPhone with the option to convert and send them as PDF files to physicians.
The ECG app takes 30 seconds to take a reading and identify a heart rhythm as AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive.
The app's ability to accurately identify an ECG recording into AFib or sinus rhythm was backed by a clinical trial involving 600 people, while irregular rhythm notification feature was recently studied in the Apple Heart Study. A part of that data was presented before the FDA for approval.