Apple Watch with industry first ECG app available across Europe, Hong Kong

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FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo the new Apple Watch 4 is on display at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. The latest Apple Watch, for instance, has several features that will be useful to the elderly and less-active individuals. That includes built-in EKG sensors so you can share detailed heart readings with your doctor without visiting a clinic. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

San Francisco:  Apple Watch Series 4 with industry-first features like ECG reading app and irregular rhythm notification will now be available in Europe and Hong Kong.

With watchOS 5.2, customers in 19 European countries including Germany can take an ECG reading with Apple Watch Series 4 at any time.

“All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored securely in the Health app on iPhone,” Apple said in a statement late Wednesday.

FILE- In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple Watch 4 at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. The new Apple Watch model, called Series 4, has built-in EKG sensors so you can share detailed heart readings with your doctor without visiting a clinic. Doctors get a PDF file showing the peaks and valleys of your heart rhythm, just as they would with an EKG on paper. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The ECG app enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist.

It can capture heart rhythm on demand in a moment when users experience symptoms such as a rapid or skipped heart beat and help provide clinically important data to physicians.

The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch occasionally checks heart rhythm in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

The ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature can alert users to signs of AFib.

“We’ve seen the ECG app and irregular rhythm notifications on Apple Watch have meaningful impact on our customers across the US,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer.

A recent clinical trial of around 600 participants found that the ECG app on Apple Watch demonstrated 98.3 per cent sensitivity in classifying AFib and 99.6 per cent specificity in classifying sinus rhythm in classifiable recordings, when compared to an ECG administered by a cardiologist.

The irregular rhythm notification feature was recently studied in the Apple Heart Study which found “only 0.5 per cent of participants received irregular pulse notifications, an important finding given concerns about potential over-notification.”

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