Mounting evidence of Apple’s great thrust toward health applications were all around: the unification of the built-in Health and Fitness applications, and then the introduction of HealthKit, GymKit, CareKit and ResearchKit to extend capability, support and collaboration with developers and researchers around the world. With the launch of the Apple Watch 4 and WatchOS 5, the most anticipated feature has to be the ECG.
Never before implemented on a commercial scale, Apple has done the impossible: shrinking ECG-capable technology into one of the smallest everyday gadgets – one that we potentially carry on our person throughout the day, with constant skin contact, too!
With the latest WatchOS 5.1.2 update, the latest Apple Watch 4 is now finally able to support ECG readouts. Electrocardiograms are traditionally a complicated ordeal, usually administered by healthcare professionals due to the delicate and sensitive nature of the exercise. Amongst its abilities, ECGs are adept at sensing fatal heart irregularities like atrial fibrillation. With this update, earlier watches (up to the Series 1) that do not have the hardware for ECG sensing will also now be enabled with notifications for irregular heart rates.
Apple, along with a multitude of healthcare professionals, cautions not to use the ECGs as a be-all-end-all to your heart health. Intended to provide a convenient, everyday insight to how your heart is faring, results from the ECG function on the Apple Watch 4 definitely should not be take alone. Worries of an uptick in hospital visits by overzealous Apple Watch 4 users do have some ground.
Together with Fall Detection, the Apple Watch 4 poses as one of the most comprehensive consumer healthcare and wellness gadgets in the market right now – and it looks just great to boot.