Apple recently launched their new Apple Watch, WatchOS 7.6 on Monday. The watch was launched around the world. But something new in the app was the functionality of ECG that earlier wasn’t available for certain countries. But with the launch of the new WatchOS, 7.6 Apple has made this feature available for 30 more countries.
The feature includes heart-related problems that can be detected by the watch. It includes ECG functions and the detection of irregular rhythms. If the watch detects something it will notify you on your Watch or your iPhone.
Availability of both features is made to 30 new countries where they get the ECG functionality and the detection of irregular rhythms which has the potential to lead to major heart problems such as atrial fibrillation. These features are completely accurate as they are backed by Apple’s powerful Heart rate sensor and the Heart Rate app. So the users need not worry.
A list of countries who will get the new functionality include-
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Cook Islands
- French Southern Territories
- Isle of Man
- Norfolk Islands
- St. Barthelemy
- St. Helena
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Martin
- St. Vincent & Grenadines
- Vatican City
All these countries will get the Apples Heart Rate app with its amazing Heart Rate sensor.
Apple, before launching the WatchOS 7.6 worked on introducing their ECG feature in Australia during May.
Most of the devices that detect your heart rate have a single lead ECG installed in them that normally are used to record your basic heart monitoring, checking for various arrhythmias, or simple educational or research purposes. Single lead ECGs are considered quite accurate and are used by many cardiologists as well.
Apple in its Smartwatch also used a single lead ECG which can detect heart rate and heart rhythm and enables classification of AFib. But this type of ECG cannot be used to detect other heart-related conditions, like heart attacks.
A research was conducted by Haakon Tillmann on how accurate these single lead smartphone ECGs were and the conclusion derived from the result stated that these single lead smartphone ECGs accurately measured most baseline intervals and had acceptable sensitivity and specificity for pathological rhythms, especially for AFib. So we can say that these ECGs are quite accurate as they were able to detect all small changes in the heart rate and rhythms.
Apple places electrodes in their watch case and Digital Crown which is the crown that mechanical watches often have to set the time. By placing electrodes in both these places Apples measures your heart rate and rhythms by detecting the electrical signals from the heart and thus creates a waveform. Both heart rate and rhythm rate data are stored and used to know whether the heart is functioning properly.
This feature of ECG is available on the Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6. Apple fixed certain bugs in Apple’s iOS 14.7, the tvOS 14.7, and the watchOS 7.6. This was done to increase the efficiency of the device and also boost its performance.