Apple Watch 4 can take ECG and store it as PDF; detects Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Rhythm

Apple Watch 4 can take ECG, detect Atrial Fibrillation and Sinus Rhythm

Have you ever taken an ECG? It takes atleast 10 minutes to prepare the patient as you have insert leads into multiple points on the body. Then another 5 minutes for the ECG to process and print it out. Now, the Apple Watch 4 can take ECGs and store it as PDF, all while it stays on your wrist. Apart from that it can also detect Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Rhythm. On the Apple Watch 4 Announcement Article, I already explained about the other Medical features that the App has.

UPDATE (18th September 2018): The truth behind Apple Watch 4’s ECG, FDA approval

ECG on Apple Watch 4

ECG (Electrocardiogram) is an investigation that measures the electrical activity of your heart. It can detect anomalies in the heart and conditions including the much dreaded Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack). ECGs also help Doctors diagnose other issues including Hypertrophy of heart and other conditions. With your Apple Watch 4, now, you can take an ECG right on your watch and send it to your Doctor as PDF.

An ECG taken on Apple Watch 4 displayed on iPad
ECG taken on Apple Watch 4

The ECG feature on Apple Watch 4 is approved by FDA. The Heart Rhythm feature has also been approved by FDA.

How does Apple Watch 4 take an ECG?

The UI for ECG is pretty simple. As explained in the Apple Watch 4 Announcement Article, the Digital Crown on the side of the Watch has electrodes. To take an ECG, all you have to do is hold your finger on the Digital Crown. The whole process, according to Jeff takes just 30 seconds! That’s just impressive!

You can take an ECG on Apple Watch 4 by holding your finger on the Digital Crown
Taking ECG on Apple Watch 4

Heart Rhythm and Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation is the condition where one of your heart chambers struggles to beat or function properly. This may be caused by many issues including diseases relating to the arteries and Hypertension. The Apple Watch 4 has mechanisms to warn you of Atrial Fibrillation, low heart rate and even measures your Heart Rhythm.

If your heart is functioning optimally, the Watch will display Sinus Rhythm. This means, the Sinus Rhythm is normal. But, if there’s a problem, the smartwatch will warn you of Atrial Fibrillation, which means there’s an irregularity in the Sinus Rhythm.

Apple Watch 4 warns of Atrial Fibrillation using the Sinus Rhythm and other data from ECG
Normal Sinus Rhythm vs Atrial Fibrillation on Apple Watch 4


ECG on a Smartwatch is definitely a break through and congratulations to Apple on achieving this. This makes it the perfect companion for people who have already suffered from a heart attack and also for those who are known to have Cardiovascular diseases.

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