An electrocardiogram (ECG) app for the Apple Watch has been approved by regulators in Europe and the UK, meaning users can now access technology previously only available hospitals.
The ECG app uses electrodes and sensors on the watch to monitor electrical activity across the users chest, reading their heart rhythm.
It can then send a PDF of the readings to the user’s phone and send them alerts to possible abnormalities with their heart beat.
Though the app runs off the watchOS 5.2, which is currently being rolled out to all Apple users, the ECG app needs the Watch Series 4’s electrodes to work.
400,000 volunteers were involved in testing the app, in which time it sent 2000 irregular heartbeat warnings, with doctors confirming 84 per cent were accurate.
Despite the app’s potential to save lives, concerns have been raised by GPs in the UK that it could increase pressure on the already strained health service.
“As a busy general practitioner my worry is that this new technology is going to cause anxiety in fit, healthy patients and it is going to cause them to come and see their GP at a time that it’s not really necessary,” the Royal College of GPs Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard told Sky News.
“Of course, we want people to be responsible about their health and if anyone feels they have an irregular heartbeat they should seek medical advice.
“But just because your phone tells you you have an irregular heartbeat it’s not necessarily the case.”