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.
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:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Cook Islands
- French Southern Territories
- Isle of Man
- Norfolk Islands
- St. Barthélemy
- St. Helena
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Martin
- St. Vincent & Grenadines
- 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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