The update unlocks the promised ECG app that captures a live electrocardiogram using the Apple Watch heart rate sensor and Digital Crown. The new watchOS update also includes new Apple app complication options on the new Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces and more.
Here’s how Apple describes its new ECG app function:
Electrodes built into the Digital Crown and the back crystal work together with the ECG app to read your heart’s electrical signals. Simply touch the Digital Crown to generate an ECG waveform in just 30 seconds. The ECG app 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.
Each beat of the heart sends out an electrical impulse. With the ECG app, Apple Watch Series 4 can read and record these impulses by connecting the circuit between your heart and both arms. The resulting ECG waveform, its classification, and any notes you’ve entered on related symptoms are automatically stored in the Health app on your iPhone. You can share them with your doctor and have a better-informed conversation about your health.
Here is the changelog…
- This update includes new features, improvements and bug fixes:
- 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
While the ability to take an ECG is limited to Apple Watch Series 4 users, Apple is implementing a secondary feature designed to send Apple Watch Series 1, 2, 3, and 4 users a notification if an irregular heartbeat is detected via the normal heart rate sensor in the device.