When the latest Apple Watch Series 4 was first announced, its ability to more accurately monitor heart rates and detect irregular heartbeats caught the attention of many. Unfortunately, this feature wasn’t widely available at first but it is now being rolled out to more locations across the globe.
This electrocardiogram feature is now available in Hong Kong and 19 European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The ECG app, which is being released as part of the free watchOS 5.2 software update, can instantly capture heart rhythm when users experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped a heartbeat and help provide clinically important data to physicians.
The irregular rhythm notification feature occasionally checks heart rhythm in the background and will notify you if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.
A clinical trial of around 600 participants 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 when compared to a gold standard 12-lead ECG administered by a cardiologist. 87.8 percent of recordings in the study could be classified by the ECG app.
This ECG app is not yet available in Africa.