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The ECG app and the irregular rhythm notification feature on the Apple Watch has received regulatory approval from the Medical Device Authority (MDA) in Malaysia as Class B software medical devices.
Both features help users identify signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common form of irregular heart rhythm. When left untreated, AFib can lead to stroke, the second most common cause of death around the world.
Is it available on my Apple Watch?
ECG app will be available on Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6 with the updated watchOS 7.5 paired with an iPhone running the newly released iOS 14.6.
The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch Series 3 and later will also occasionally check heart rhythms in the background and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be AFib is identified.
What does it mean?
It means that if you have an Apple Watch, it can tell you if you have a heart problem before it could become serious, and you can have it treated early. Now imagine if your loved one, like an elderly parent has one.
To enable these new heart features, just proceed through the onscreen setup that includes details about who can use these features, what the features can and cannot do, what results users may get, how to interpret those results, and clear instructions for what to do if users are feeling symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Has it saved lives before?
Yes. In early 2020, theSun Daily reported the case of Muhammad Farhat Haniff, a 30-year old who was diagnosed with Ectopic Rhythm, an irregular heart rhythm due to a premature heartbeat.
He was able to get the heart disease diagnosed early thanks to his Apple Watch which alerted him of his uncommonly elevated heart rate despite his inactivity.
This high and low heart rate notifications feature is available on all Apple Watch Series 1 or later. It alerts you when you have an elevated heart rate when you are resting and low heart rate when you are active.
Check with your doctor.
Remember, whatever the ECG app and the irregular rhythm notification tells you, check with a doctor first. The Apple Watch and the new features cannot diagnose. It is also not meant to to detect heart attacks.
Source: Apple Newsroom