In 2018 December, Apple, as promised released watchOS 5.1.2 update with Electrocardiogram (ECG) activation code for Watch Series 4, but back then, it was only limited to the US market, as the company got the clearance from state-run Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now, the critical heart health monitor feature has finally been enabled in more regions with the latest watchOS 5.2 update.
As per the official Apple watchOS release notes, the ECG and also the Irregular Rhythm Notification app has been activated in Hong Kong and select regions of Europe.
Here's how to get ECG readout on Watch Series 4:
The new electrodes built into the back crystal and the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch Series 4 works together with the ECG app to enable customers to take an ECG similar to a single-lead reading.
Step 1: Launch the ECG app on Watch Series 4(review) and hold your finger on the Digital Crown. This will complete the circuit and the electrical signals across their heart will be measured.
Step 2: After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive.
As far as the irregular rhythm notification feature is concerned, Apple Watch can now also occasionally check heart rhythms in the background and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified. If detected, the Watch alerts the user with a notification of irregular rhythm detected on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes. AFib if left undetected can cause stroke and is said to be the second most common cause of death in the world.
Already, Watch Series 4 has saved several lives in the US by alerting the owners of their deteriorating heart condition and were able to get timely diagnosis and medication.
It can be noted that all the data and the associated classifications including any noted symptoms will be stored securely in the Health app on the companion iPhone. Users can share a PDF of the results with their family physicians.
Besides the ECG and irregular rhythm notification features, the new Watch OS 5.2 brings support for newly introduced AirPods (2nd gen), real-time text (RTT) option for phone calls and also new Watch faces that will match with newly launched Watch bands spring collection.
For those unaware, ECG sensor is inbuilt in all the Watch Series 4 (review) units sold across the world and Apple is steadily getting approval from local health departments. Even Indians can expect to test out the health feature in the near future.
Here's how to install watchOS 5.2 on your Apple Watch:
For those unaware, the new watchOS 5.2 is available to the Watch Series 1, 2, 3(review) and 4. It is being rolled out in phases, so it might take a few hours depending on the network connectivity of your area.
You can manually check for the software update on your connected iPhone. Also, it will only upgrade to the new watchOS only if your iPhone runs the latest iOS 12 update.
Step 1: Go to Watch app on your iPhone >> tap General>> Software Update>> check for the update
Step 2: You will get a prompt to download and install>> accept it
Step 3: Once the accepted, it will take a few minutes to download and initiate the installation procedure.
Note: Make sure the Apple Watch is on the Charging pad during the entire installation procedure and also make sure it is near the companion iPhone connected to Wi-Fi.
Step 4: Once done, the companion Apple iPhone will notify you that the installation is complete and you are good to go.