Apple has released watchOS 5.2 for Apple Watch, with ECG app and irregular rhythm notification expanded to 20 countries and regions. Apple has received the necessary approvals and clearances to market the Apple Watch with the ECG app feature, in these new locations. Along with the United States, ECG readings are now available in 23 countries and regions around the world.
The ECG app will only work on Apple Watch Series 4, as it contains hardware to support the readings. There are electrodes built into the back crystal and Digital Crown on Series 4 Apple Watch which allow customers to take ECG readings in just 30 seconds. The reading data is saved in the iPhone Health app and can be exported as a PDF to share with doctors.
As per Apple’s clinical trial with 600 participants, ECG app was able to detect AFib with 98.3 percent accuracy and sinus rhythm with 99.6 percent accuracy.
Irregular heart rhythm notifications
Irregular heart rhythm notifications work on Apple Watch Series 1 and above. Apple Watches checks for a users heart rhythm in the background and notifies the user of irregular heart rhythm if detected over 5 times in 65 minutes.
Apple has been careful to ensure that there are no false notifications with this feature and tested with over 400,000 people. Only 0.5 percent of the users received the alert. Receiving the right notification at the right time can be the difference between a user going to a doctor for early diagnosis and treatment or ignoring it.
Apart from these two alerts, Apple Watch Series 1 and above also support high heart rate and low heart rate notifications.
ECG app and irregular rhythm notification have received De Novo clearance in the US from the FDA and are CE marked and cleared in the European Economic Area.
Here are the complete release notes by Apple for watchOS 5.2:
- ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 now available in Hong Kong and some regions in Europe.
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Hong Kong and some regions in Europe.
- Adds support for AirPods (2nd generation)
- Supports real-time text (RTT) for phone calls
Before starting the update, make sure that your Apple Watch has more than 50% battery and is placed on the charger. Your iPhone should also have enough battery capacity to download the update.
To update to watchOS 5.2:
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone, which should already be on iOS 12.2.
- Tap on My Watch tab and go to General > Software Update.
- When the update shows up, download it. Enter your passcode if requested.
To use the new health features, go to the Health app after installation is complete. There will be a walkthrough of these new features and instructions on how to use them.
With watchOS 52, these new Health features are available in the following countries and regions:
- Hong Kong
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
- US Virgin Islands
Recently, Apple also released iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4 and tvOS 12.2, after months of beta testing. Apple has already started beta testing iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3 and macOS Mojave 10.14.5 with the new TV app, scheduled to release in May.