FDA approves Apple Watch atrial fibrillation monitoring feature hours before WWDC kicks off

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new Apple atrial fibrillation monitoring (Afib) feature that will likely appear on watchOS hours before the WWDC 2022 keynote. The FDA-approved feature is called “AF History Feature 510(k).” With approval, Apple can now include the feature in its services and hardware.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm. Current Apple Watch models are capable of checking for atrial fibrillation at 50 to 150 beats per minute in some regions and 50 to 120 beats per minute in other countries.

There are few technical details about the new feature, but the “history” part of the feature’s name suggests that users will be able to see an analysis of their heart rhythm or symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

Bloomberg previously reported that watchOS 9 may support an “AF burden detection” feature, allowing users to monitor how often they are in atrial fibrillation for a set period of time.

It’s unclear if the feature will debut at WWDC 2022 as part of the company’s watchOS 9 software update, or if it’ll be a hardware feature on new Apple Watch models in the fall.

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