Garmin's ECG app is officially live, bringing users of the Venu 2 Plus in the United States the long-awaited health feature.
The limited rollout follows last week's news that the FDA had approved the Garmin ECG feature, which also comes nearly a year after the app was first found hiding in the menus of the Venu 2 Plus.
The smartwatch becomes the first Garmin watch to offer support for the feature, then, with the on-watch function able to distinguish between normal sinus rhythms and signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib).
As detailed in Garmin's release, the function works relatively similar to the likes of the Apple Watch, with users placing their index finger and thumb on the metal edge of the device's bezel for 30 seconds in order to receive a reading.
You'll need to set it all up in Garmin Connect first, though, which will also be a hub for historical data, as well as the place you can export individual readings as PDFs (to a doctor, for example). On the watch itself, the app will appear on the regular list alongside the likes of exercise modes.
And that's pretty much it - at least for now. However, the next natural step for the ECG app is a wider rollout - both to more devices and more regions.
Currently, Garmin only offers the following regarding the extended rollout of the app: "Garmin intends to continue to expand its portfolio of products supporting the ECG App and launch it in new regions in-line with necessary regulatory approval."
While wider approval can often prove to be a formality following the FDA's, there's simply no telling how long the process will take for different territories - and that's in line with Garmin's relatively closed statement.
And if you were hoping that your existing Garmin watch would be able to receive support for the feature in a future update, well, that's not looking likely.
As confirmed to DC Rainmaker, the Venu 2 Plus is the company's only in-market watch that has the necessary hardware to perform ECGs. The tell-tale sign is the small ring around the edge of the optical HR sensor on the rear, with the watch's bezel - where the user places their fingers - also featuring the connecting wire.
This all means that we're waiting on future releases for the Garmin ECG app to truly expand - something that gives the Venu 2 Plus a unique selling point (for now).
Of course, with Garmin pretty late to the ECG party, it's also worth pointing out that there are throngs of ECG smartwatches already available on the market - and some will even scan sporadically for these irregular rhythms in the background.
Garmin's functionality only extends to on-the-spot readings for now, but this does still represent a big first step in the space. Stay tuned for our full explainer.
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