Apple Watch ECG app launches today with watchOS 5.1.2 update

And while Apple did receive FDA clearance for the Series 4, it's a de novo classification. ECGs with your doctor generally involve 12 leads, while the Series 4 is only a single lead. At the time of the Watch's debut in September, Apple's native app with which the electrodes communicate wasn't ready for consumer use.

The ECG app is for the Watch itself, while ECG data gets stored in Apple's Health app on iOS devices.

While the original report from The Verge has been pulled, the chances of Apple not releasing watchOS 5.1.2 later today are pretty slim. Among the features announced was a preview of the ability to generate an electrocardiogram or ECG within thirty seconds by placing a finger on the Digital Crown. The new irregular rhythm notification feature will occasionally check heart rhythms and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation is identified.

The software update that brings the highly touted electrocardiogram app to the Apple Watch Series 4 is finally available to the public.

The health monitoring feature has now only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, but it appears there is a way to access the ECG feature outside of the USA, too.

An ECG is a very non-invasive medical test created to measure the electrical activity of the human heart, and is most often employed by cardiologists, hospitals and medical centers to aid in the diagnosis of heart conditions like Atrial fibrillation (Afib). The ECG features are meant to allow users to take more control over their health and provide more background information to their doctors.

Because the ECG app requires new hardware, it isn't available on older Apple Watch models. Again, this could potentially save lives, as it could help users catch issues before they become serious. With the updated accelerometer in the Series 4, those Watches can now detect when its wearer has fallen, notifying loved ones and emergency services when the wearer cannot do so themselves. The same update will enable irregular rhythm notifications to the Apple Watch. Now launch the Watch app on the iPhone, go to General Software Update and then tap on Download and Install as soon as the update shows up.

Vanessa Coleman