The heart of the matter: Apple Watch ECG tracker arrives in the UK

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After launching the ECG tracker in the US last December, Apple has now made the cutting-edge heart monitoring tech on its smartwatch available to customers in the UK and Europe. The ECG tracker is potentially one of the most innovative pieces of technology available to users of the Apple Watch since it was first launched in 2015.

The electrocardiogram or ECG sensor was activated via an Apple watchOS update for compatible Apple Watches. This meant that users of the Series 4 version of iWatch gained the ability to use the brand new app to take heart rate readings via built-in electrodes.

apple watch heart rate monitor

Before rolling out the new function on to the market, the device was also cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. The advantage of the ECG app is that it can potentially reveal abnormal patterns to which it creates a 30-second ECG recording that can be downloaded into a PDF to be supplied as evidence for medical practitioners.

Users of the smartwatch and app will now be able to conduct the same practice in the UK and Europe as Apple has gained a CE mark, which is a certificate that is applied to products which are intended for sale in the European Economic region, for the ECG app and irregular rhythm notifications. Obtaining the certificate represents a pivotal shift in the way technology giants are incorporating more health-related apps and gathering data to increase healthcare coverage at all levels from practitioners to users.

This interest has prompted many tech organisations to include quality heart rate sensors in different types of wearables. However, the ability to accurately measure heart rates via ECG is what sets Apple’s smartwatch apart from competitors who can only offer alternative technology.

It’s vital that users avoid allowing their Apple Watch to come into contact with water when taking an ECG. Of course, this may seem like stating the obvious when it comes to such intricate and delicate technology, but if the device is wet, the chances are that it will give either an incorrect reading or not work at all.

Taking an ECG measurement is also fairly straightforward. First, you’ll need to set up the ECG app on the smartwatch. Once this is done, Apple helpfully explains the different results you might receive along with a small explanation.

(source: CNBC)

The way ECG sensor works is by incorporating new electrodes built into both the back crystal and the digital crown of the watch. These are designed to both measure and monitor your heart’s electrical signals. Once you are ready to take a reading with your Apple Watch, the device will ask you to hold down a finger on its digital crown for around 30 seconds. Once the process is complete you will get a result that can be stored in the health app on your Apple iPhone, or share in a PDF file that enables potential medical consultation.

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