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Apple Watch ECG Finally Gets TGA Green Light

The Apple Watch’s ECG feature is now finally available in Australia after getting the nod from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6 customers can now take ECG readings directly from the wrist to detect the dangerous heart condition atrial fibrillation (AFib).

After thirty seconds of holding the watch’s crown, it will return a result of AFib, AFib with high heart rate, sinus rhythm, low or high heart rate, inconclusive, or poor recording. This recording will be stored in the iPhone’s Health app, and can be exported as a PDF to show a doctor.

According to Bill Stavreski, General Manager for Heart Health and Research at the Australian Heart Foundation, this data could be used for an early diagnosis of AFib.

“While AFib often leads to a poorer quality of life, many people have no symptoms or they might ignore occasional symptoms. This means the problem might not be found until serious consequences, such as a stroke, occur, so early diagnosis can lead to a better outcome.

“The findings from this technology should always be discussed with a doctor, who can interpret the results in the context of a person’s overall health,” he said.

The TGA has only approved one other smartwatch ECG so far: the health-focused Withings ScanWatch. While other watches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Fitbit Sense, have ECG capabilities, they have not yet been cleared for Australian use.

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