Apple has announced that its watchOS 5.2 is now available, but it seems to be available for people in Hong Kong and 19 European countries for now. The device’s ECG app and irregular heartbeat detection features will come bundled with the update in Hong Kong, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the UK and Switzerland, respectively.
The Apple’s ECG app, which was launched in the US in December, needs the electrodes built into the Watch Series 4 model to work. It gives you the power to take an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram just by firing up the application and touching the device’s Digital Crown. Immediately, it sends an electrical signal to your heart and can even tell if their rhythm is normal or if you’re experiencing irregular heartbeats – atrial fibrillation.
Though the ECG app is for now only available in Apple’s latest watches, Cupertino’s irregular rhythm notification feature is hitting all Series 1 devices soon. It can monitor your heart rhythm in the background and notify you if it detects AFib irregularities that could lead to heart failure or stroke. To prevent giving out false alarms to what is not there, it will only issue a warning if it detects abnormal rhythms on five checks over a period of 65 minutes.
Apple pushed out the feature after extensive and thorough testing by Stanford researchers, and exercise that involved 400,000 volunteers. While on test lab, it sent irregular heartbeat warnings to around 2,000 of the volunteers, and practicing doctors confirmed that 84 percent of the alerts were accurate AFib episodes.
Apple’s head operating officer ‘Jeff Williams’ noted that the company has seen that “the ECG app and irregular rhythm notifications on Apple Watch have meaningful impact” on its customers across the US. “We are excited to bring these features to customers in Europe and Hong Kong, giving them access to empowering information about their heart health,” he said.