The Apple Watch’s ECG is finally available in Europe
Instead, it was the addition of ECG (electrocardiogram) capabilities without any additional hardware needed (besides the Apple Watch itself, of course). The feature allows the user to quickly and easily take an ECG and then, if need be, send the results to their doctor. Even without having the results looked at by a specialist, the device’s own algorithms would alert the user if they notice something out of the ordinary. Since then, reports are showing up regularly about how the Apple Watch helped one person or another notice an issue with their heart that was later confirmed by a cardiologist. This allowed proper measures to be taken a lot sooner than if the patient had waited until the problems became obvious.
Unfortunately, despite the Apple Watch being loved all around the world, the ECG functionality was limited only to the United States. Not anymore!
Select European countries and Hong Kong are getting ECG
Apple’s watchOS 5.2 is now available for all Apple Watch models and adds a couple of features for users in 19 European countries and Hong Kong. The more important one is ECG, which comes only to the Apple Watch Series 4. Here’s the full list of European countries that are getting the new feature:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK.
The reason for that is unknown. It could be due to additional regulatory approval needed or, alternatively, those are just markets Apple isn’t as interested in right now.
A more notable country that’s also missing from the expansion list, although not in Europe, is Canada. It was expected to be one of the first countries besides the US to get the ECG app, but it appears that Canadians will have to wait at least until the second wave of expansion.
ECG on a smartwatch, how does that work?
The watchOS 5.2 update is also bringing a health-related feature to older Apple Watches as well. Called Irregular Rhythm Notification, this feature is coming to Apple Watch Series 1 and newer models. It checks the user’s heart rhythm on regular intervals using the optical sensors of the device and sends a notification if five irregular rhythms are detected over the span of at least 65 minutes.