The Apple Watch lets you take an electrocardiogram, otherwise known as an ECG. This ECG can provide you with interesting insights into your heart health and it can even alert you to potential health concerns.
ECG is short for electrocardiogram; it's also sometimes referred to as an EKG. It's a test that records the frequency and strength of the electrical signals generated by your heart beating and contracting.
Essentially, ECGs allow you or your doctor to check for abnormal cardiac activity.
The Apple Watch brings this technology right to your wrist. You can take a simplified ECG wherever you are with your Apple Watch.
In a clinical setting, ECGs are administered by putting several electrode stickers onto specific areas of your chest, arms, and legs. These electrode stickers are attached to an ECG machine through electrical wires. The test is painless, but cumbersome.
The Apple Watch ECG is a convenient and immediate way to check for heartbeat irregularities, but is not a substitute for emergency medical care.
How to Take an ECG on Your Apple Watch?
Taking an ECG on your Apple Watch is a quick and simple process. Follow these steps if you're feeling the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat, or if you just want to try it out:
- Make sure that your Apple Watch is snug on your wrist. And make sure you're wearing it on the wrist you selected in the Apple Watch app. To check or change your selected wrist, open the Watch app, select go to My Watch > General > Watch Orientation.
- Open the ECG app on your Apple Watch. If you don't see the app, in the Watch app go to My Watch > Heart > Install ECG App.
- Rest your arms on a steady surface, such as a table or in your lap.
- With your free hand (on the side you aren't wearing your Apple Watch), hold your finger firmly on the Digital Crown.
- The recording will start. It takes 30 seconds. Ensure that your finger remains in the Digital Crown as the ECG will restart if contact between your finger and the Digital Crown is interrupted, even briefly.
- At the end of the recording, you'll receive your result. You also have the option to record any symptoms that you are feeling with your ECG record. To do this, tap Add Symptoms and choose your symptoms.
The Apple Watch is equipped to help you stay on top of your health. If you need to regularly check your heart rate or perform ECGs, you can add these features to your Apple Watch face for ease of access or adjust your app arrangement so they're easy to find.