Apple Watch's ECG app is officially here: 5 things to know

The Apple Watch now offers two features OK'd for medical use, thanks to an update the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech maker released Dec. 6.

Here are five things to know about the new features:

1. Apple released the two features — an electrocardiogram app and an irregular heart rhythm notification capability — as part of its watchOS 5.1.2 update for its smartwatches. Both of the features aim to help wearers identify signs of atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heart rhythm.

2. The ECG app, only available on the most recent Apple Watch Series 4, enables wearers to take an ECG reading from their wrist. The app analyzes this reading to classify the wearer's heart rhythm as atrial fibrillation, sinus rhythm or inconclusive, and stores this data in the iPhone's Health app.

3. The irregular heart rhythm notification feature, available on Apple Watch versions Series 1 and later, occasionally reviews a wearer's heart rhythm in the background of the device for symptoms of atrial fibrillation. The feature alerts the wearer if it detects an irregular heart rhythm at select intervals.

4. The Dec. 6 update follows Apple COO Jeff Williams' September announcement that the Apple Watch Series 4 would include an FDA-cleared ECG sensor, marking the product's first-ever feature OK'd for medical use.

5. Apple worked with the FDA for "a number of years" to receive De Novo classification for the ECG app and the irregular heart rhythm notification, according to a news release from the company.

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