Today, Apple announced that ECG and irregular heart rhythm notifications would be displayed on Apple Watch devices in South Korea as part of the iOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 updates.
Though the company hasn’t officially confirmed the release date of the updates, it looks like they are imminent as a recent press release says that a “Release Candidate” version of iOS 14.2 was introduced to the developer and public beta testers on Friday.
Rumours started appearing nearly three months ago that the ECG feature was approved for release in South Korea, but the company needed a few more months to prepare the feature’s public release.
About The Feature
The ECG feature is currently available in about 50 countries for Apple Watch Series 4,5, and 6 devices, and it lets users directly measure electrical heart activity by placing a finger on the watch’s Digital Crown for 30 seconds.
The watch’s heart rhythm feature analyzes the heartbeat for irregular heart rate that can be categorized as atrial fibrillation, which is a severe heart arrhythmia condition.
Both features are labelled as medical diagnostics, which means that they require approval from regulators in all countries where they are available, a requisite that delayed the release of the popular features.
Apple’s Series 6 blood oxygen monitoring feature is considered a wellness feature instead of a medical diagnostic, meaning that it isn’t subject to most major regulatory protocols, which let the company feature it in over 100 countries since day one.
We salute Apple’s initiative and can’t help but admire how the technology that once used to occupy a significant portion of a hospital room now fits inside a wristwatch!