Apple today released the watchOS 5.2.1 update which brought a brand-new ECG app for taking heart rate measurements that are not dissimilar from those recorded with a single-lead electrocardiogram, but you must be 22+ years old to use it.
It uses electrodes in the Digital Crown and the back crystal to measure a heart’s electrical activity and determine the presence of atrial fibrillation (AFib) or sinus rhythm on a classifiable waveform (one thing it cannot do is check for signs of a heart attack). ECG waveforms generated by the app are synced securely to the Health app on iPhone with iOS 12.1.1.
From there, any ECG waveform can be easily shared with your clinician.
Third-party apps like Heart Analyzer help you make sense of your ECG readings
We’re unsure as to why the Cupertino technology giant has imposed age restriction on the ECG app, but suffice it to say that you could cheat quite easily by changing your birth date in the Health app. The onboarding process also puts up a warning screen for anyone under the age of 22, saying that the app is not intended for use by them.
TUTORIAL: How to use ECG app on Apple Watch
To continue with the onboarding process and start using the app, you must either meet the age requirement, wait until you’re at least 22 or change your birth date as I mentioned above, which is something we don’t really recommend for various reasons.
Be that as it may, the ECG app is available on Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5.1.2 or later, paired with iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12.1.1 or later. It is FDA-regulated and intended for over-the-counter use in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.
While not intended to interpret or take clinical action without further consultation with your doctor, ECG waveforms generated by the app are meant to supplement rhythm classification solely for the purposes of discriminating AFib from normal sinus rhythm.