Apple Activates Watch 4 ECG Feature

Apple Activates Watch 4 ECG Feature
Apple Watch owners can receive a warning if their heartbeat becomes irregular.

(CCM) — After months of waiting, Apple is finally enabling the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature in its Watch Series 4 with the release of WatchOS 5.1.2, Phonearena is reporting.

The new WatchOS release runs on all versions of the Apple Watch, and while the ECG functionality is restricted to the latest Watch Series 4, the WatchOS update does bring an irregular heart rate notification feature to all versions of Watch including the original Series 1.

But the ECG feature is only available to users in the U.S. due to regulations relating to medical devices in other countries. However, it may be made available in Canada in the near future, according to the report.

To record an ECG, Watch Series 4 users open the ECG app and hold their index finger against the side of the watch's crown for 30 seconds. The ECG is then recorded and saved to the Apple Health app, from where it can be shared with medical professionals.

The ECG feature is part of Apple's drive to use wearable devices for health monitoring. Between 2.7 and 6.1 million Americans may suffer from atrial fibrillation, the report says, and the availability of ECG readings from devices like the Watch Series 4 has the potential to enable doctors to tackle the problem more effectively.

Some health insurers offer Apple Watches at a heavily discounted price or for free, and then provide financial incentives for their customers to exercise regularly.

Image: © Anna Hoychuk -