The Apple Watch Series 5 first introduced ECG watches into the wearable spotlight. It is now being integrated into other smartwatches.
What exactly is an ECG?
The majority of the wearables on the market today include optical heart rate monitors. This is a monitor that detects blood flow through the skin by using flashing LEDs. Light is captured by the sensors when it is reflected off the flow of blood. The algorithm then works to convert that into an estimate of your heart rate.
However, it is not as precise as it could be, particularly when it comes to medical issues. Insert the electrocardiogram here (ECG or EKG). Rather than measuring blood flow, it is intended to assess how well your heart is functioning.
It’s a term more commonly heard in the medical field, referring to an electrocardiograph, which is used to detect cardiac abnormalities.
Why Would I Invest In An ECG Smartwatch?
For many people, the main question is, “Why to buy an ECG smartwatch?” Well, for many (dare we say most) people, the feature will be used once and then forgotten. However, for a large number of people, ECG is absolutely necessary.
Which smartwatches support ECG?
The following are the smartwatches that currently include an ECG:
- Series 4 Apple Watch
- Series 5 Apple Watch
- Series 6 Apple Watch
- Series 7 Apple Watch
- Galaxy Watch Active 2 by Samsung
- Galaxy Watch 3 (Samsung)
- Galaxy Watch 2 (Samsung)
- Fitbit Sense
- ScanWatch by Withings
- Move ECG by Withings
- Vertix 2 Coros
- Smartwatch Amazfit 2
How To Make Use Of The ECG App
The ECG app can record your heartbeat and rhythm using the electrical heart sensor on your Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, or Series 7*, and then analyze the recording for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular rhythm.
The ECG app captures an electrocardiogram, which is a representation of the electrical pulses that cause your heart to beat. The ECG app uses these pulses to calculate your heart rate and determine whether your upper and lower chambers are in rhythm. If they are out of rhythm, they may have AFib.
How to Read The Readings
Following a successful reading, your ECG app will display one of the following types of results. Regardless of the outcome, if you aren’t feeling well or have any symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
The sinus rhythm
A sinus rhythm indicates that the heart is beating in a consistent pattern between 50 and 100 beats per minute. When the upper and lower chambers of the heartbeat in unison, this occurs. A sinus rhythm result is specific to that recording and does not imply that your heart beats in a consistent pattern all of the time. It also does not imply that you are in good health. If you’re not feeling well or if you’re experiencing any symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
AFib indicates that the heart is beating in an irregular pattern. The ECG app version 1 can detect AFib between the rates of 50 and 120 BPM. The ECG app version 2 can detect AFib between the rates of 50 and 150 BPM. * AFib, or atrial fibrillation, is the most common type of serious arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm. If you receive an AFib classification but have not been diagnosed with the condition, you should consult your doctor.
Heart rate (low or high)
In ECG version 1, a heart rate of less than 50 BPM or greater than 120 BPM impairs the ECG app’s ability to detect AFib. In ECG version 2, a heart rate of less than 50 BPM or greater than 150 BPM can impair the ECG app’s ability to detect AFib.
A low heart rate can be caused by certain medications or by electrical signals not being properly transmitted through the heart. A low heart rate can result from training to be an elite athlete. The American Heart Association has more information on low heart rates.
Exercise, stress, nervousness, alcohol, dehydration, infection, AFib, or other arrhythmias can all cause a rapid heart rate. The American Heart Association has more information on high heart rates.
Inconclusive results indicate that the recording cannot be classified. It could be because of one of the following circumstances:
Your heart rate is between 100 and 120 BPM on ECG version 1, and you are not in AFib. In a clinical trial with 546 subjects, the ECG app version 2 demonstrated 99.3 percent specificity for sinus rhythm classification and 98.5 percent sensitivity for AFib classification for the classifiable results.
You have a pacemaker or a cardioverter defibrillator implanted (ICD).
The recording may reveal symptoms of other arrhythmias or heart conditions that the app is not designed to detect. A small percentage of users may be unable to generate enough signals to produce a good recording due to physiological conditions. If you do not rest your arms on a table during a recording, or if you wear your Watch too loosely, you may get an inconclusive result for ECG version 1. Discover how to achieve the best results.
ECG version 2 is the only one that has this classification. Poor recording means that the outcome cannot be classified. If you receive a Poor Recording result, there are a few things you can try to improve your recording. While recording, rest your arms on a table or in your lap. Try not to move too much and to relax. Check that your Watch is not slipping off your wrist. The band should be snug, and the back of your Watch should be in contact with your wrist. Make sure your wrist and Watch are both clean and dry. Water and sweat can wreak havoc on a recording.
View And Share Your Health Data
The ECG waveform, its associated classifications, and any symptoms noted will be saved in your iPhone’s Health app. You can also send your doctor a PDF.
- Launch the Health app.
- Select Heart > Electrocardiograms from the Browse menu (ECG).
- To view your ECG result, tap the chart.
- Select Export a PDF for Your Doctor from the drop-down menu.
- To print or share the PDF, click the Share button.
That’s about it for this blog, if you have any further clock/watches-related questions, feel free to use the comment section below. And if you want to read an interesting article on why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devices“