Apple Watch is about to gain new features when iOS 14.3 lands in the next few hours. It will have support for Apple Fitness+, the new subscription service which launches tomorrow. Along with a new Cardio Fitness feature which looks at VO2 Max levels keeping in mind the Heart Health. As per the mac rumors, something else is also on the cards, including a new software update, which will be a significant step forward for the Apple Watch models. It can record an ECG, that is, Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6.
The documentation refers to a new algorithm for the ECG measurement, referred to as Version 2. There’s no extra detail beyond that, but we can deduce more. Apple sought FDA approval for its improved ECG software in June this year, and, according to MyHealthyApple, it was granted in October. Additionally, Apple is all set now to implement the heart health upgrade in a software update. And the update is designed to appreciably enhance the ECG capabilities of the Watch models with this function.
It will mean that it expands the classification range to a much higher level than before, right up to 150 beats per minute. If atrial fibrillation is seen in someone with a heart rate between 100 and 150 bpm, then the Watch will notify the users. The users are advised to seek medical advice. Although iOS 14.3 is all set to land at 10 AM Pacific on Monday, December 14. It may be that the new ECG feature will follow a little later.
Did ECG get clearance?
Yes, just like it seems, the original ECG app under Apple Watch won clearance. But at this time around, it may be limited to the United States Apple’s Watches. The updated version will help you see a notification on your iPhone telling you that the ECG app “has new capabilities. And that it “can now check for Afib at higher heart rates. It will let you know if your result is inconclusive due to a poor recording”.
The notification also confirms that the update will only arrive for users in relevant geographical regions. This is all exciting. Apple has led the charge when it comes to transforming the health capabilities of wearable tech. And to radically enhance the capabilities of ECG measurement, alongside VO2 Max readings puts Apple further out in front.
What does the Heart Health Upgrade include?
Heart rate notifications:
Apple Watch checks for unusually high or low heart rates in the background. It can also signal a serious underlying condition. It can help you and your patients identify situations that may warrant further evaluation.
Suppose a patient’s heart rate is above 120 bpm or below 40 bpm while they appear to have been inactive for 10 minutes. The user will receive a notification. Patients can adjust the threshold bpm or turn these notifications on or off. You can view all heart rate notifications along with the date, time, and heart rate on your iPhones.
Irregular rhythm notifications:
Occasionally, the irregular rhythm notification checks for signs of irregular rhythms that may suggest atrial fibrillation (AFib). This feature won’t detect all instances of AFib but may catch something that can provide your patients with an early indication. It signals if you need to consult a doctor or no.
Irregular rhythm notifications use the optical heart sensor to detect the pulse wave at the wrist. And it looks for variability in beat‑to‑beat intervals when the user is at rest. If the algorithm repeatedly detects an irregular rhythm suggestive of AFib, your patient will receive a notification. And the date, time, and beat‑to‑beat heart rate will be recorded in the Health app. The feature is not advisable for people under the age of 22 years. It is especially important for people having Afib symptoms.
With the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, patients who experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heartbeat or receive the irregular rhythm notification can capture an ECG. And they can a; sop record their symptoms.
This real-world data can enable you to make more informed and timely decisions regarding further evaluation and care. The ECG app uses the electrical heart sensor built into the Digital Crown. And the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 4 or later to record a single-lead ECG similar to a Lead I ECG. The ECG app then provides a result of sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, or inconclusive. It prompts the user to enter any symptoms such as rapid or pounding heartbeat, dizziness, or fatigue.
The waveforms are ideally recorded in the form of PDFs so you can easily share them with your medical professional. If the patient notes symptoms that indicate a severe condition, they must call for emergency services. The app is not advisable for people less than 22 years.
Detect high and low heart rate:
Similar to the AFib feature, Apple Watch can also detect high heart rates (tachycardia) and low heart rates (bradycardia). First, you need to manually enter what would be high and low heart rates for you in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. If your Watch detects heart rates above or below those ranges, it’ll notify you. It is one of the best features under the Heart Health upgrade.
Calm you down during a stressful time:
There are a plethora of meditation apps out there, but if you have an Apple Watch, there’s one already conveniently installed on your wrist. The native Breathe app can help you calm down in an instant.
The Apple watch is coming up with new upgrades every now and then, so it is a great thing for users. Well, activity tracking is, by far, one of the best features available. Above all, physical activity is critical for your overall health.