The Apple Watch ECG health feature will be available to users in South Korea and Russia on Apple Watch Series 4 5, and 6 in the upcoming iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1updates. This health feature is made available in regions after seeking medical approval from local authorities, therefore, its rollout is gradual.
Today, Apple stated that the new ECG feature will be added via the new iOS 14.2 and WatchOS 7.1 software updates with bug fixes and performance improvements. While the date of the public release has not been officially confirmed, it should be coming soon as Apple released the iOS 14.2 beta to testers just a few days ago.
Apple Watch ECG coming to South Korea and Russia soon
Following its regulatory approval in August 2020, the electrocardiogram feature of the Apple Watch will now be released in South Korea and Russia. Both countries are getting these features later than most other countries due to the required approvals. All of the ECG features require the tech giant to get approval from regulators in each individual country. This process can take a lot of time. It can even take years for other smartwatch manufactures, but Apple managed to get the necessary approvals in record time.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer said,
“Apple Watch has helped countless people around the world, and we feel humbled that Apple Watch has become such an important part of our customers’ lives. With the launch of [this] feature, Apple Watch is taking the leap to the next level, allowing people to have more information and more power about their health.”
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a non-invasive test to record heart rhythm and its electrical activity. The sensors on the smartwatch gather real-time electric signals and convert it into a recording which can be viewed on the Watch itself, or on an iPhone. If any irregularities are detected in the readings, the Watch alerts the user to consult a doctor. The readings can be exported from an iPhone in PDF format, which can be taken to a doctor for consultation and diagnosis.
Users can generate an ECG waveform in just 30 seconds by placing their finger on the Digital Crown. The description of the app reads:
“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”