Apple is today launching the ECG app in two additional countries. With the release of watchOS 5.3, the ECG app and irregular heart rate notifications to Canada and Singapore.
The electrocardiagram sensor hardware is included in all Apple Watch Series 4 units, but is disabled through software in countries where it has not got approval. The good news is Apple Watch Series 4 owners in Canada and Singapore can now update to watchOS 5.3 to use the ECG app.
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Canada and Singapore joins 29 other regions where the ECG app was already available. ECG first debuted in the United States last fall alongside the Apple Watch Series 4 launch.
The ECG app uses the electrodes in the Digital Crown and in the back of the watch to take an ECG reading, measuring the electrical pulses of your heart, not simply the heart beat rate.
This allows the watch to diagnose cases of atrial fibrillation. When you take the ECG, the watch will tell the wearer if the recorded heart pulse pattern shows signs of atrial fibrillation, or if everything seems normal (‘sinus rhythm’).
A recording of your ECG data is then stored in the Health app on the paired iPhone, where it can be exported as a PDF and sent to a doctor.
Irregular heart rate notifications do not require an active ECG to be taken. The watch will analyze heart rate readings continously in the background and trigger an alert if something seems off.
With the release of watchOS 5.3, the ECG app is now available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and the US Virgin Islands.
To update to watchOS 5.3, open the Watch app on the paired iPhone. Tap General -> Software Update and start the download. Your Apple Watch must be placed on its charger for the update to complete. In addition to the ECG app, watchOS 5.3 also resolves a security issue with the Walkie-Talkie app.