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ECG app on Apple Watch available in UAE after govt approval

ECG app on Apple Watch available in UAE after govt approval

App enables users to take an electrocardiogram from their wrist

The ECG app on Apple Watch is now available in the UAE after receiving approval as a medical device from the Ministry of Health & Prevention. The app is available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later with iOS 14 and watchOS 7.

The product enables customers to take an electrocardiogram from their wrist, capturing heart rhythm in a moment when they experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heartbeat. It also occasionally checks heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

The ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification feature (the latter is also available on Apple Watch Series 3) help users identify signs of AFib, the most common form of irregular rhythm. When left untreated, AFib is one of the leading conditions that can result in stroke, the second most common cause of death around the world.

Read: Apple launches Watch Series 6, price starts at Dhs1,599

To take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification, users launch the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 and later and hold their finger on the Digital Crown. As the user touches the Digital Crown, the circuit is completed and electrical signals across their heart are measured. After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm, low or high heart rate, or inconclusive. All recordings, their associated classifications, and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app on iPhone. Users can share a PDF of the results with physicians.

Apple says the ECG app’s ability to accurately classify an ECG recording into AFib and sinus rhythm was validated in a clinical trial of around 600 participants. The study found the ECG app on Apple Watch demonstrated 98.3 per cent sensitivity in classifying AFib and 99.6 per cent specificity in classifying sinus rhythm in classifiable recordings. In the study, 87.8 per cent of recordings could be classified by the ECG app.

“From my experience as a cardiologist, this ECG feature can and will save lives,” said Dr. Mohammed Fateh Arab, a cardiologist. “AFib is very common in older patients, but young individuals as well. It’s not always easy to catch AFib depending on the type of condition it is. Having a tool on your wrist that allows you to check in on your health at any given point could potentially save that person’s life from a stroke. It will also save health practitioners a lot of time trying to investigate the problem.”

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