28 February 2019
Update: December 7, 2018
Apple Watch Series 4 has finally gained the ECG support via the watchOS 5.1.2 update. With the help of the ECG, the watch can send the notifications to the user if it detects irregular heart rhythm. According to Apple, it can notify users if it detects an irregular rhythm on five checks over at least 65 minutes.
Here's the complete changelog on what's new is coming via the watchOS 5.1.2
- New ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 (US and US territories only)
- Allows you to take an electrocardiogram similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram
- Can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation—a serious form of irregular heart rhythm—or sinus rhythm, which means your heart is beating in a normal pattern
- Saves ECG waveform, classification and any noted symptoms in a PDF on the Health app on iPhone to share with your doctor
- Adds the ability to receive an alert if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation is detected (US and US territories only)
- Enables direct access to supported movie tickets, coupons, and rewards cards in Wallet when tapped to a contactless reader
- Receive notifications and animated celebrations when you achieve daily maximum points in a day during an Activity competition
- New Infograph complications for Mail, Maps, Messages, Find My Friends, Home, News, Phone, Remote
- Manage your availability for Walkie-Talkie from Control Center
Original Post (November 30, 2018)
Apple Watch Series 4 was launched with so many great features and among them is the ECG functionality but it wasn’t made available at the time of release. Now, according to a report, the same is finally coming via an update which is watchOS 5.1.2. According to an internal Apple Store training document obtained by MacRumors, the ECG functionality will be enabled in the publicly released version of watchOS 5.1.2 which is currently in beta testing.
The ECG inside the Apple Watch Series 4 will be responsible to read your heart rhythm and it can detect atrial fibrillation. The users will be able to take an ECG reading when users place a finger on the Digital Crown.
Apple Store employees are instructed to advise customers that the ECG app is "not intended to be a diagnostic device or to replace traditional methods of diagnosis," and "should not be used to monitor or track disease state or change medication without first talking to a doctor".
Apple did promise to release this functionality by the end of this year but it’s yet to be seen whether the public release of watchOS 5.1.2 could come on time.
For now, at least, the ECG function will only be released to Apple Watch users in the US, where Apple has received FDA clearance. The new heart monitoring features will be recorded in the Health app on a paired iPhone. This will require the iPhone 5S or later running the iOS 12.1.1.