The Apple Watch ECG (electrocardiogram) feature was launched in the United States a few months after the Watch Series 4 was released in 2018.
Since then, the feature has gradually spread to many countries, including Turkey. Currently, the sensors and app that can run the feature are available on Apple Watch Series 5, 6, and 7, in addition to Series 4.
So what exactly is an EKG and how does it work on a device as small as the Apple Watch? I’ll explain it in detail in the next few paragraphs.
What is an electrocardiogram?
It is nothing more than a test that evaluates the electrical activity of your heart. The test is widely used by doctors to detect heart problems such as arrhythmia, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and even myocardial infarction.
This “normal” examination in clinics and hospitals uses multiple electrodes connected to various parts of the patient’s body to analyze heart rate and rhythm from different points/angles.
Electrocardiogram on Apple Watch
The Apple Watch EKG uses similar electrical sensors strategically placed on the Digital Crown and on the back of the watch.
According to Apple, it differs from testing done in clinics. For this reason, it cannot detect heart attacks, for example. However, the Apple Watch EKG can detect the presence of atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the forms of irregular heartbeat.
In Which Countries Is EKG Application Available?
ECG application is not available everywhere due to different laws for medical devices in different countries. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the application of ECG in the US three years ago. EKG application is available in Turkey.
Apple Watch Models with EKG application
Apple Watch Series 7, Series 6, Series 5, and Series 4 have the ECG app. Apple Watch SE does not have an EKG app.
How to set up EKG application?
- Open the Health app on iPhone.
- Follow the steps shown on the screen.
- If you do not receive a prompt to set up the EKG, tap the “Explore” tab and tap Heart » Electrocardiograms (ECG) » Install the EKG app.
How to Use EKG Application?
Open the EKG app on your Apple Watch. Put your hands on a table or on your legs, touch the Digital Crown with your finger and follow the onscreen instructions to wait 30 seconds.
Finally you will see the results. Possible consequences include:
- Sinus rhythm: Your heart is beating normally and your heart rate is between 50 and 100 bpm. However, if you feel sick, contact your doctor anyway.
- Atrial fibrillation (or AFib): This is the health condition the EKG is designed to detect. Your heart beats with an irregular rhythm. Contact your doctor.
- Low heart rate or high heart rate: Your heart rate is faster than 150 bpm (or 120 bpm with ECG app version 1) or slower than 50 bpm, so it’s slower. specific results cannot be given. If you have concerns, contact your doctor.
- Inconclusive: Results cannot be determined. You can see this if you use a pacemaker, have a heart condition that the app cannot detect, or (with EKG app version 1) if your heart rate is between 100 and 120 bpm and you don’t have AFib. If you have concerns, contact your doctor.
- Bad record: Results cannot be determined. Make sure your Apple Watch is properly seated and your arms are resting on something stable and try again.