Apple Watch rolls out heart health check features to UK users

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Apple has rolled out its ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification to Apple Watch Series 4 owners in the UK, Ireland and other countries across Europe.

The ECG app allows people to test their heart rhythm directly from their wrist, simply by holding their finger on the Digital Crown.

ECGs were limited to the US at first because the feature had only received De Novo classification from the country’s Food and Drug Administration, but now the device is CE marked and cleared in the European Economic Area.

The tech giant is hoping its latest health feature will help people detect heart rhythm problems early, with around half a million people estimated to be unaware they have atrial fibrillation in the UK alone, according to the AF Association.

Apple Watch
Apple Watch Series 4 receives ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification (Apple/PA)

“Apple Watch has helped so many people around the world and we are humbled that it has become such an important part of our customers’ lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

“With the release of these heart features, Apple Watch takes the next step in empowering people with more information about their health.”

The new features will be available to Apple Watch Series 4 devices through a free watchOS 5.2 update.

All recordings are stored on the Health app of the user’s iPhone and can be shared with health professionals.

“We are confident in the ability of these features to help users have more informed conversations with their physicians,” said Sumbul Desai, Apple’s vice president of health.

“With the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature, customers can now better understand aspects of their heart health in a more meaningful way.”

Chris Price