Apple is promoting next week’s launch of the Apple Watch’s electrocardiogram (ECG) feature in Taiwan, alongside the release of watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3.
The “ECG” app on Apple Watch Series 4 and subsequent models will be launched in Taiwan via iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 from Tuesday, December 15, Taiwan time. This feature represents that Apple Watch is the first product that allows customers to measure ECG directly on their wrists, capture heart rhythms immediately when they experience symptoms such as accelerated or reduced heartbeat, and can help provide doctors with important data. The “ECG” app has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration of Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare as a Class II software for medical devices (SaMD).
The “ECG” app helps users recognize signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is the most common form of arrhythmia. If left untreated, AFib can cause stroke, which is the second most common cause of death in the world.
The feature is currently available in almost 50 countries on the Apple Watch Series 4,5, and 6. Users measure their electrical heart activity by placing their finger on the Digital Crown for 30 seconds. The irregular heart rhythm feature measures the user’s heart rate in the background and sends a notification if it detects an anomaly it categorizes as atrial fibrillation, which can be a serious heart arrhythmia condition.
Both the ECG and the irregular heart rhythm feature are considered medical diagnostics, so they require approval from regulators in each country where they are to be made available. This has slowed the rollout of the features around the globe.
iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 are expected to be released on Monday, December 14, alongside Apple Fitness+.