Apple's watchOS 7.6 update brings ECG support to 30 more countries

Apple Watch ECG feature
Apple Watch ECG feature (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple released watchOS 7.6 yesterday following a lengthy beta program.
  • The new update brings support for the Apple Watch's ECG functionality to another 30 countries.

Apple released the watchOS 7.6 update to the public yesterday and that means that no fewer than 30 more countries now have access to the Apple Watch's ECG functionality.

The release, which comes after a fairly lengthy beta process, means that people in a ton more countries now have access to a potentially lifesaving feature. Their Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 6 can now perform an ECG on them.

Here's how Apple describes the ECG feature:

The ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6 generates an ECG that is similar to a single-lead (or Lead I) ECG. In a doctor's office, a standard 12-lead ECG is usually taken. This 12-lead ECG records electrical signals from different angles in the heart to produce twelve different waveforms. The ECG app on Apple Watch measures a waveform similar to one of those twelve waveforms. A single-lead ECG is able to provide information about heart rate and heart rhythm and enables classification of AFib. However, a single-lead ECG cannot be used to identify some other conditions, like heart attacks. Single-lead ECGs are often prescribed by doctors for people to wear at home or within the hospital so that the doctor can get a better look at the underlying rate and rhythm of the heart. However, the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6 allows you to generate an ECG similar to a single-lead ECG without a prescription from your doctor.

The additional 30 countries have been collated by the folks at 9to5Mac and include Slovenia, Haiti, Gibraltar, and many more.

The full list of 30 countries reads:

  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • French Southern Territories
  • Gibraltar
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guernsey
  • Haiti
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • Nauru
  • Norfolk Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Slovenia
  • St. Barthélemy
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Martin
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • Ukraine
  • Vatican City

The ECG functionality has already been shown to save lives and its rolling out to more countries can only be a very good thing indeed.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.