Apple Watch ECG app launches today with WatchOS 5.1.2 update

After the update, Apple Watch users will have more insight into possible health issues.

First look: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 owners are about to gain a potentially life-saving app. On Thursday, Apple will release a software update for Apple Watch owners that adds an ECG app to the company's latest smartwatch.

Also: Apple Watch ECG app: How it works and what it means for the future of health

The feature was first announced by Apple back in September, alongside FDA approval for De Novo classification for the ECG app.

The new app is included in watchOS 5.1.2 and follows Wednesday's release of iOS 12.1.1.


(Image: Apple, Inc.)

When using an ECG app, the user will need to place his or her finger on the Digital Crown, working in tandem with sensors on the bottom of the watch, and hold still for 30 seconds. After the test is complete, users can view results, complete with a chart of the heart rhythm, in the Apple Health app. The app also provides an option to export the test as a PDF to share with a physician.


(Image: Apple, Inc.)

Owners of Apple Watch Series 1 or newer aren't left out. The same update will enable irregular rhythm notifications to the Apple Watch. Using the built-in heart rate monitor, the watch will look for signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib) and alert the wearer if an irregularity is found, with a suggestion of following up with a doctor.

CNET was given early access to the new ECG app and tested it in a doctor's office, and the experience for Vanessa Hand Orellana is something you'll just have to read.

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As of 1:15 pm ET the update is now live for Apple Watch owners.

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