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The Apple Watch 4's ECG Feature Is Coming Soon

One of the marquee features of the latest Apple Watch is its ability to use a built-in heart sensor to record an electrocardiogram. But when the Apple Watch Series 4 arrived a couple months ago, its ECG app wasn't there, as Apple said the feature would arrive via a future software update.

The future may be upon us. MacRumors got a hold of an internal Apple Store training document that claims ECG features will be turned on in the upcoming watchOS 5.1.2 update.

MORE: Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Series 4: Which Watch Should You Buy?

According to the report, the updated version of watchOS will add an ECG app to the smartwatch. That app, working in concert with the electrical heart sensor on the Apple Watch Series 4, will be able to detect irregular heartbeats. That way, your Watch can alert you if you're experiencing atrial fibrillation, a potentially serious development that might otherwise go undetected.

The Apple Watch’s ability to detect atrial fibrillation is a big deal — so much so that Apple had to win the Food and Drug Administration’s clearance for the ECG app on its newest watch. Your watch will be able to log all that heart data, giving your doctor a log of potentially useful information for diagnosing problems.

It's unclear when watchOS 5.1.2 will arrive on Apple Watches. The update also requires a phone running iOS 12.1.1 for storing heart data in the Health app. Both those OS updates are currently in beta testing.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.