Apple announced the heart features in September, but didn’t make them available until Thursday using watchOS5.1.2. The new features have been given clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration and therefore are for US customers only.
The watch can properly check the wearer’s heart rhythm in the background and send a notification when it finds irregular heart rhythm. That can point to atrial fibrillation, a condition that can increase the risk of stroke and other ailments. Apple claims that the watch will notify users if it detects an irregular rhythm on five tests within at least 65 minutes.
When symptoms arise, users can also take an EKG, or electrocardiogram, and share that with doctors. This feature is available for the newest, Series 4 version of the watch. The app, called ECG, comes as part of a free software upgrade for your watch, which also brings new Infograph complications for Mail, Maps, Messages, Locate My Friends, Home, News, Phone, Remote programs.
The irregular heart notification is available for older versions, too, beginning with the”Series 1″ model in 2016. It does not work with the first, 2015 version.
Apple is adding medical characteristics to make the watch feel much more useful to people. A fall detection feature launched in September. It claims to have the ability to discern the difference between a trip and a fall — and if the latter happens, it is going to suggest calling 911 (or the equivalent outside the US). If it receives no response within a moment, the watch will automatically set an emergency message and call friends and family designated as emergency contacts.
This upgrade includes new features, enhancements and bug fixes:
New ECG program on Apple Watch Series 4 (US and US territories only)
Allows you to take an electrocardiogram similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram
Can indicate if your heart rhythm reveals signs of atrial fibrillation–a more serious form of irregular heart rhythm–or even sinus rhythm, which means your heart is beating in a normal pattern
Saves ECG waveform, classification and any noted symptoms in a PDF on the Health app on iPhone to talk with your doctor
Adds the capability for an alert when an irregular heart rhythm which Seems to be atrial fibrillation is discovered (US and US territories only)
Lets direct access to supported movie coupons, tickets, and rewards cards in Wallet when tapped into a contactless reader
Receive notifications and animated parties when you reach daily maximum points in a day through a Task contest
Manage your accessibility for Walkie-Talkie from Control Center