FDA grants approval to new Apple Watch Afib feature hours before WWDC

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval to a new Apple atrial fibrillation feature likely destined for watchOS just hours before the company's WWDC 2022 keynote.

As first spotted by My Healthy Apple, the FDA has granted 510(k) approval to a new "Atrial Fibrillation History Feature." With the approval, Apple can now add that feature to its services and hardware.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm. Current Apple Watch models are able to check for Afib between 50 and 150 beats per minute in some regions, or between 50 and 120 beats per minute in other countries.

Details about the new feature are scarce, but the "history" portion of the feature's name suggests that users will be able to see an analysis of their heart rhythms or atrial fibrillation symptoms.

Bloomberg has previously reported that watchOS 9 could support an "Afib burden detection" feature that would allow users to monitor how often they're in a state of atrial fibrillation over a set period of time.

It isn't currently clear whether the feature will debut at WWDC 2022 as part of the company's watchOS 9 software update or if it will be a hardware feature launching on a new Apple Watch model in the fall.