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Apple Watch ECG app and irregular heart rhythm Notification Launching In New Zealand

No word on support for Australia

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New Zealand will be the latest country to receive the ECG app and irregular heart notifications on Apple Watch. With the new features to be enabled in a free software update due to arrive next week, according to Apple.

The feature will be the first direct-to-consumer product, allowing Apple Watch wearers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist. Also known as an ECG, it captures heart rhythm like a rapid or skipped heartbeat. The information is then saved in the Health app on their iPhone, providing physicians with critical data. Capturing an electrocardiogram will be available on Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, including the current generation Series 5.


In addition to the ECG feature, irregular rhythm notifications will arrive on Apple Watch Series 1 or later models. Occasionally Apple Watch will check the wearer’s heart rhythm in the background. If the heart rate rhythm appears to be irregular, a notification will advise when atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

Apple goes on to say: “The ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification feature will help users identify signs of AFib”. And that it is “the most common form of irregular rhythm.”. If AFib is left untreated, it can go on to be one of the leading conditions that results in stroke. And it is the second most common cause of death around the world.

Availability and Release

ECG and irregular rhythm notification features on compatible Apple Watch models will be available with iOS 13.4 and watchOS 6.2. These two software updates are due to be released on March 25th, 2020.

It is unclear when Australia will gain the features, which most likely require medical approval before launching.

  1. Most of the world now has approval of Apple Watch ECG. Now vulnerable people with heart conditions are trapped at home. It’s not a 12 lead marching but it’s been shown to be useful in identifying arrhythmia. How about the bureaucrats at the TGA make a special approval to allow this app.

  2. It’s a shame. The TGA have stayed the ecg itself isn’t the problem, the fact that Apple are claiming it can offer health benefits is the reason they need to regulate.
    If Apple could just say it’s a neat feature in Australia that has no implications on you seeking medical advice then we’d have it already.
    Let’s just hope now NZ has it, the regulations are similar enough to make the process speedy in oz.

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