Apple Watch ECG feature gains Chinese ‘medical device’ approval

Apple Watch ECG health feature has been approved by the Chinese regulatory authority. In a new ‘Medical Device Approval Document’ published by China’s National Medical Products Administration, Apple’s “Mobile ECG atrial fibrillation reminder software” was listed on top.

Apple Watch ECG

Apple Watch is marketed is not only as a smartwatch but a health monitoring device. Right from the wrist, users can track their calories, activity, blood oxygen level, monitor sleep patterns, measure their electrocardiogram (ECG) to check for any heartbeat irregularity, and much more. However, Apple Watch ECG feature was not released worldwide because it needs to be approved by the medical authority of each country. And after approval, the heart monitoring feature will now also be available in China along with 76 other countries.

The ECG app can record your heartbeat and rhythm using the electrical heart sensor on Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6* and then check the recording for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a form of irregular rhythm.

The ECG app records an electrocardiogram which represents the electrical pulses that make your heart beat. The ECG app checks these pulses to get your heart rate and see if the upper and lower chambers of your heart are in rhythm. If they’re out of rhythm, that could be AFib. – Apple

After approval, Apple Watch ECG feature available in watchOS 8 beta 2 in China

Although the published document does not mention when the ECG feature will officially launch in China, ITHome shared on Webio that the feature is live on watchOS 8 beta 2.

A netizen @海涛RUNner contributed that after upgrading his Apple Watch 5 to watchOS 8 Beta 2, the ECG function can be used normally.

Apple Watch ECG

In December 2020, Apple updated the Apple Watch ECG app to version 2.0. The new update included changes in the Atrial fibrillation range, low heart rate measurements, reading classification, and more.

  •  The updated app now allows AFib (Atrial fibrillation) to check between 50 and 150 BPM. This means that heart rate below 50 and above 150 BPM will give inconclusive results.  The previous version can check for AFib between 50 to 120 BPM.
  • Poor Recording is a new classification on the app which alerts the users to check for deterrents affecting a successful reading like loose Apple Watch, the position of the arm, sweat, electronic interferences, and others.
  • In the updated version 2 of the ECG app, the rate of successful reading is higher than the previous version 1.

To check if Apple Watch ECG feature is available in your region, click here.

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.