Apple launched the ECG feature in 2018 exclusively for the Apple Watch Series 4 and primarily in the US with the FDA approval. Three years after that, some countries got the electrocardiogram app, and Australia is probably the next one to get the feature.
As first spotted by 8-Bit, the Australian government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the ECG function in the country yesterday, under “Medical Device Class IIa.”
Here’s what TGA said in the document of approval:
“The ECG app is a software-only mobile medical application that is intended to be used with the Apple Watch to create, record, store, transfer, and display a single-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) similar to a Lead I ECG. The app determines the presence of atrial fibrillation (AF) or sinus rhythm on a classifiable waveform. The ECG app is not recommended for users with other known arrhythmias.
The app is intended for over-the-counter (OTC) use. The data displayed by the ECG app is intended for informational use only. The user is not intended to interpret or take clinical action based on the device output without consultation with a qualified health professional. The ECG waveform is meant to supplement rhythm classification for the purposes of discriminating AF from normal sinus rhythm and is not intended to replace traditional methods of diagnosis or treatment. The ECG app is not intended for use in people under 22 years old.”
Different from the Blood Oxygen app that can measure the oxygen level of your blood on Apple Watch Series 6, which is just for “insights” about your “overall wellness,” the ECG app must be approved by local governments since it’s a medical feature.
Now that the ECG feature on Apple Watch is approved in Australia, the launch could come sooner than later. Malaysian users of Apple Watch are waiting for almost a month since their government approved the feature about a month ago. Apple could release the electrocardiogram app to Australia and Malaysia with watchOS 7.4, which is currently in beta tests.
How to use the ECG app
With an Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6, here are the apps to install and take an ECG:
- Open the Health app on your iPhone.
- Follow the onscreen steps. If you don’t see a prompt to set up, tap the Browse tab, then tap Hear > Electrocardiograms (ECG) > Set Up ECG App.
- After you complete setup, open the ECG app to take an electrocardiogram.
- Make sure that your Apple Watch is snug and on the wrist that you selected in the Apple Watch app. To check, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then go to General > Watch Orientation.
- Open the electrocardiogram app on your Watch.
- Rest your arms on a table or in your lap.
- With the hand opposite your watch, hold your finger on the Digital Crown. You don’t need to press the Digital Crown during the session.
- Wait. The recording takes 30 seconds. At the end of the recording, you will receive a classification.
- Tap save to note any symptoms, then tap Done.
Apple recently started promoting again this feature, as you can see here. In one of the ads, a man takes an ECG in different places while the 30-second commercial is running. By the end of the ad, the man already has his result.
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