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ECG looks set for Apple Watch in China with new software betas

ECG results on Apple Watch Series 4
ECG results on Apple Watch Series 4 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The ECG Apple Watch feature may be headed to China soon.
  • The feature appears to be present in the new beta software versions released by Apple.
  • The feature was approved for use medically in the country earlier this year.

Apple's ECG feature, which can take a full electrocardiogram from your wrist on all of Apple's best Apple Watches, looks set for rollout in China soon.

According to ITHome, the new versions of iOS 15 and watchOS * feature the ECG feature, although this is yet to be confirmed by Apple.

According to the report Apple received approval for use of the feature as a medical device back in June, paving the way for this release.

Earlier this year Apple added ECG support for some 30 new countries. The feature is available on the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5, as well as the 6 and Apple Watch Series 7. It debuted on the former model back in 2018 and can be used to detect conditions such as atrial fibrillation, preventing death in some wearers. From Apple:

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 report follows a rumor from insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who says Apple will release three ned Watch versions in 2022 including a new Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and an all-new 'extreme Sports' edition, previously rumored and sometimes called the 'Explorer Edition.'

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.