ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (2023)

Heart rate monitors are part and parcel of smartwatches and fitness trackers now, but electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) is the new sensor in town.

The technology is designed to help people keep closer tabs on their heart health, and can even be used to help identify atrial fibrillation (Afib) a serious medical condition that is a leading cause of stroke.

ECG was thrust into the wearable spotlight via the Apple Watch Series 5. But it can now be found on smartwatches from Samsung, Fitbit, and even Huawei.

What is ECG and why is it a useful feature to have on a smartwatch? We get into all of the key details below.

What is ECG?

Most wearables have optical heart rate monitors, which use flashing LEDs to penetrate the skin and detect blood flow. When light is reflected off the flow of blood, it’s captured by the sensors. The algorithm then gets to work to turn that into an estimation of your heart rate.

But it’s not as accurate as it could be – especially where medical issues are involved.

Enter the electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Rather than measuring blood flow, it’s designed to measure how well your heart is working.

It’s a term you’d more commonly hear in the medical industry, referring to an electrocardiograph that's used to detect cardiac abnormalities.

Why would I buy an ECG smartwatch?

An ECG smartwatch can detect if you have atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes an irregular heart rate and is a leading cause of strokes.

Taking an ECG reading on your watch can tell you if you have a healthy heart rhythm – but for many people, the feature is something you'll likely use once and then forget about.

But for a large subset of people, having ECG capabilities can be hugely beneficial.

Smartwatches from the likes of Apple and Fitbit can export an ECG graph of your heart rate, which can be a huge help when talking to your doctor.

“ECG on wearables is super high value for a small segment. It is probably going to be more advantageous to our users over 50 than 20-year-olds, but we're trying to build something for everybody," Dr. Conor Heneghan, Director of Research Algorithms at Fitbit told Wareable.

"Afib can come and go, as can conditions that affect the rhythm of your heart. That means having a device that can take spot readings at any time, makes it a hugely powerful health tool to have at your disposal," he said.

How do ECG smartwatches work?

Most watches have a built-in ECG sensor, that can take a spot reading of your heart rate rhythm.

You start the app and then place your finger on a specific part of the watch (usually the case or crown) for the duration of the test.

Fitbit has recently launched a new feature that continuously monitors heart rate rhythms, and can look for atrial fibrillation using the PPG sensor.

While this has an advantage over ECG watches for spotting Afib, ECG smartwatches offer the benefit of being able to export a graph of your heart rate rhythm.

Which smartwatches have ECG?

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (1)

The list of smartwatches that currently include an ECG is the following:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
  • Fitbit Sense
  • Fitbit Sense 2
  • Fitbit Charge 5
  • Withings ScanWatch
  • Withings Move ECG
  • Coros Vertix 2
  • Amazfit Smartwatch 2

ECG wearable available right now

Apple Watch Series 4/5/6/7/8

Price when reviewed: $399 (40mm GPS)

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (2)

The latest Apple Watch Series 8 (and the Series 4/5/6/7) has ECG functionality, with sensors built into the ceramic heart rate monitor under the watch, and also the new Digital Crown.

Fire up the ECG app, pop your finger on the crown and you'll be guided through the reading.

You'll get a notification of whether the reading was normal or Afib, and an EKG graph of your heart rate will be logged in the Apple Health smartwatch app, which can be downloaded and shared with your doctor.

(Video) ECG Watch: How it Works (Apple, Samsung A fib Watches / EKG)

Apple has FDA approval for its ECG, as well as clearance in the European Economic Area with more than 20 countries now able to make use of the health feature.

  • How to use the Apple Watch ECG feature

Fitbit Sense 2

Price when reviewed: $329

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (3)

The Fitbit Sense 2 is the company's first health watch, and it brings a host of new sensors including ECG.

You can perform ECG spot checks using the app on the watch. When you open the app, touch your fingers to the aluminum case and hold as instructed on the watch for an ECG to be taken.

Again, this can be exported via a PDF.

The PPG sensor also scans for abnormal rhythms continuously, including high and low heart rates. That means it can alert you to possible issues without the need to take manual scans, and if you suffer from a condition, you can better understand potential triggers.

The Fitbit ECG sensor has gained full FDA and CE approval for use in the US and Europe.

Fitbit Charge 5

Price when reviewed: $279.99

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (4)

Staying with Fitbit, the company has launched the ECG feature on its new Charge 5 fitness tracker.

It's the only fitness tracker form factor that can take an ECG reading – so a good option for those who don't want to wear a smartwatch.

You pinch the sides of the case to take the reading, which is delivered to the Fitbit app.

You can share your results with your doctor, as well as get immediate feedback on whether your heart rhythm is normal or Afib.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Price when reviewed: $299.99

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (5)

The Galaxy Watch 5 is the latest Samsung smartwatch in town – and the move to Wear OS hasn't affected its ability to take an ECG measurement.

The ECG app can be found on the Galaxy Watch 5 – just as it was on the Galaxy Watch 4.

It takes a 30-second reading when you place your finger on the sensor built into the top physical button. You'll also need to remain still with your forearm resting on a flat surface.

Samsung's Health Monitor app is live in the US and South Korea and it's received clearance in Europe.

It's available in Iceland, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Belgium, Lithuania, Netherlands, Greece, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

What's more, Japan, Indonesia, UAE, Chile, India, and China are all confirmed for 2021.

Have a read of our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review and our guide on how to take an ECG reading on Samsung smartwatches.

Huawei Watch D

ETA Oct 2022

(Video) Smartwatches With ECG | How It Works Explained | Chances of Stroke And Heart Attack!!

It's taken a while but the Huawei Watch D is now available in Europe – and it features blood pressure monitoring and ECG detection.

The Watch D is the company's health smartwatch, and it's a big, powerful beast. We used it at IFA 2022, and it's certainly not a comfortable, sleek smartwatch for casual wear.

This is a device that's designed for medical-grade surveillance, and it's likely suited to those that have a pre-existing condition.

Withings ScanWatch

Price when reviewed: $249

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (6)

The Withings ScanWatch offers even more sensors, with SpO2 detection of sleep apnea also on board.

You can take off-the-cuff ECG readings to check for afib, and the results can be presented in a PDF to show to your doctor.

The optical heart rate sensor that checks your heart rate throughout the day will also keep an eye out for irregular heartbeats, and if it thinks you may have them, suggest you take an ECG test.

ScanWatch has been out in the EU since 2020 and is now available in the US. That's great news, as it's an excellent health wearable – and it's heading for a much bigger audience.

Check out our Withings ScanWatch review.

Withings Move ECG

Price when reviewed: $129.95

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (7)

The first hybrid watch to feature the ability to take an electrocardiogram reading – helping detect the signs of atrial fibrillation – the Move ECG is also water resistant up to 50 meters and will automatically track your activity.

Unfortunately, this one is currently still undergoing clinical validation from the FDA in the US, though it is available in the EU already.

Read our full Withings Move ECG review.

Coros Vertix 2

Price when reviewed: $699.99

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (8)

You may not have heard of Coros, but it's a US-based fitness wearables brand that has Garmin in its sights

The Vertix 2 is the company's new outdoors GPS watch, which offers an enormous 140 hours of GPS battery life, mapping and training insights.

But up its sleeve is an ECG sensor – but it's not used to take the same type of Afib readings as the other devices in our list. It's designed to take heart rate variability readings as a stress sensor.

Read our Coros Vertix 2 review.

Amazfit Verge 2

From around $145

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (9)

Amazfit's latest and greatest, the Verge 2 packs ECG technology to place it as a direct competitor for other watches on this list. This works by using Huami's Huangshan No.1 always-on AI chip.

This nifty chip features a cardiac biometrics engine to monitor your heart rate more accurately, including screening for heart arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation.

(Video) Best smartwatch with ecg and blood pressure in India ⚡ ecg smartwatch India & best smartwatch 2022

At the moment, however, the Verge 2 is only available in China, with US and European launches planned.

How does ECG smartwatch tech work?

An ECG records the tiny electrical signals that are generated by the beating of your heart under your skin, which it presents as a trace. This then allows trained professionals, machines, or wearables to understand more about how your heart is functioning – and determine if there are any abnormalities.

“In the simplest sense, it can tell you the heart rate (how fast), the rhythm (how regular), the state of the conduction system and muscle tissue (heart attacks), and even the level of certain chemicals like potassium in the blood, and the effect of medication,” says Dr. Keith Grimes, GP and Clinical Innovation Director at Babylon Health.

An electrocardiograph in a medical setting usually requires placing electrodes on the skin situated close to the heart, which measures electrical activity produced by the heart as it contracts. The electrical activity is sent to a receiver that records the information, and this is where the heart's rhythm can be analyzed and irregularities can be detected.

But the tech inside the Apple Watch (and other ECG-reading devices you can use at home) works differently.

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (10)

For example, rather than place electrodes on your skin, the Apple Watch example requires you to hold your finger on the device’s digital crown. Wait for 30 seconds and the electrical activity of your heart draws a red trace across the watch’s screen. Once you’re done, the app will let you know whether the trace captured a normal heartbeat, called a sinus rhythm, or an abnormal heartbeat.

On the Fitbit Sense, when you've opened its ECG app you'll be prompted to place your fingers on the corners of the watch's frame for the same 30 seconds to take a reading. It will then indicate whether you have a normal sinus rhythm, or whether there are signs that you might have atrial fibrillation or just an inconclusive reading.

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (11)

Samsung's ECG-packing smartwatches use their touch-sensitive button as a sensor that you'll place your finger on for 30 seconds as well. After that, it will measure your heart rate and rhythm, and classify it as sinus rhythm (normal) or AFib.

The biggest difference between an electrocardiograph at a hospital and the ECG tech in your Apple, Fitbit, or Samsung smartwatch is the first is a 12 lead and the latter is a single lead. In the simplest terms, the 12 lead is taking lots of readings about your heart – the single lead is taking one.

That means a single lead ECG has limited capabilities and offers a single view of your heart. It can’t be relied upon to detect all heart rhythm abnormalities – or worsening heart problems. It also can’t be relied upon to detect the electrical changes that take place during a heart attack or abnormal heart structure.

Apple makes this clear, but it’s important to differentiate between what an ECG at the hospital can offer and what tech you use at home can offer.

How can ECG tech save your life?

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (12)

An ECG carried out by a medical professional can identify many issues with your heart. But ECG devices designed to be used at home aren’t quite there yet.

Here are a few of the ways the ECG tech found in your Apple Watch or Samsung smartwatch can currently save your life though, including the problems that they can identify and the others they might be able to.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can cause irregular and abnormally fast heartbeat. It’s common and potentially deadly. It's also intermittent, which makes it difficult to detect. This is the one condition that both Apple and Samsung are FDA-cleared to detect. FDA approval is still pending for Fitbit's new Sense watch to do the same.

ZDNet writer Jason Perlow was part of the early testing of Apple’s Atrial fibrillation detection and identified a problem with his heart in 2018 thanks to the data that was collected.

The reason personal devices are effective at recognizing this particular kind of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and the reason Perlow cites for its effectiveness in his case, is because you can take them at any time.

Unlike getting an ECG at the hospital, you can monitor your heart throughout the day. “Irregularities in heart rate can be episodic, and difficult to capture,” explains Dr. Grimes, “So a personal ECG that you carry with you can help clinicians record when palpitations happen and help with diagnosis.”

This means you can take a 30-second ECG whenever you feel symptoms and also better understand the context of what may have brought them on. For example, if you just got back from a run and you’re feeling a bit off.

Dr. Tony Faranesh, a senior research scientist at Fitbit says the optimal way to identify atrial fibrillation through heart rate tracking is to screen while at rest, making sleep ideal for detection.

On Fitbit's devices, that's done by using its optical-based PPG heart rate sensor. The ECG sensor, like Apple and Samsung, is used for spot checks.

Like Apple, it seems that Fitbit won't be continually scanning for signs of Afib. Though Apple and Fitbit both use the PPG sensor to check for irregular rhythms such as high or low heart rate.

Dr. Julia Reynolds, Associate Director at Innovation Agency, tells us that the Kardia Mobile built by startup AliveCor is sometimes even prescribed to patients for this exact reason.

(Video) Top 5 Best Smartwatch with ECG

“Individuals may be given a mobile ECG device by their health professional if they are concerned they may have paroxysmal Atrial fibrillation – that’s when it comes and goes. That way, if they are feeling signs and symptoms, they can take their ECG when they are experiencing symptoms.”

Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia)

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (13)

Neither the Apple Watch 4 nor the KardiaBand are cleared to detect other kinds of abnormal heart rhythms, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t able to if you or a professional can interpret the data.

The team at AliveCor has been able to use data from the KardiaBand to detect Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), which is a condition that can cause an irregular heartbeat and could lead to fainting and sudden death.

“In July 2018, AliveCor announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic to develop tools to facilitate screening for LQTS,” an AliveCor spokesperson says. “Although this feature hasn’t yet been commercialized, it’s a promising step toward detecting this deadly disorder before it’s too late.”

Like Atrial fibrillation, one of the reasons personal ECG devices lend themselves to detecting a condition like LQTS is that it’s often brought on through exercise and stress. That means even if you’ve had an ECG with a professional it might not have been detected. But being able to take a reading when you’re out and about, at the gym or exercising could be a lifesaver.

Heart attack

An ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a serious heart attack that occurs when one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked.

Like LQTS, there’s no official word that personal ECG devices can detect a heart attack. But that doesn’t mean AliveCor isn’t using its technology to try.

“In November 2018, findings from the STLEUIS International Multicenter Study suggest that a research version of AliveCor’s ECG technology is capable of identifying STEMI,” a spokesperson from AliveCor told us.

The study tested a standard 12-lead ECG (like the one a medical professional would use) against a mobile ECG and the AliveCor app to find the mobile version was effective in identifying STEMI with high sensitivity in comparison to the professional test.

Healthier insights

ECG smartwatches explained: How they work and the best on the market (14)

Detecting a heart attack or atrial fibrillation could be life-saving, but ECG tech could also be useful in helping us to paint a more accurate picture of our health and fitness.

QardioCore is a chest-based ECG monitor that, unlike the Apple Watch, can be worn throughout the day collecting more than 20 million data points. Although it can also detect heart rhythm irregularities, its design makes it ideal for those who are in fitness training and need more reliable feedback when heart rate activity fluctuates.

Combined with readings about body temperature, breathing rate, and stress levels, an ECG measurement can be used to find out more about your body and how it responds to exercise than ever before at home.

For those serious about athletic training, this is done through Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and a Root Mean Square of the Successive Differences (RMSDD) measurement, which identifies the time between peaks and troughs in your heartbeat and helps you to train smarter.

How often should I take an ECG reading?

Provided your heart gets a normal sinus rhythm, you’re likely to only need to periodically take an ECG test, just to check everything is in order.

But if you suffer from the feeling of your heart racing, palpitations, or periods of feeling unwell, then you can use the ECG app as and when you need it. And it becomes an incredibly important health tool, right on your wrist.

Fitbit’s Director of Research Algorithms, Conor Heneghan, says that means users can have a better-informed conversation with their doctor.

“The problem with cardiac issues with rhythm is they're so intermittent,” said Heneghan.

“For people who have palpitations or other symptoms, ECG can be a reassurance. And if they feel like something's a bit odd going on physiologically they can capture that moment to speak with their doctor about it,” he continued.

Fitbit also recommends that the ECG feature should only be used by those aged 22 or above.

The problems with false positives – and negatives

ECG devices available to consumers can detect a range of heart problems, whether they’ve been cleared to or not, but that doesn’t mean they should replace a trip to your doctor.

“Reading an ECG is tricky,” Dr. Grimes explains. “Current technology uses machine learning to detect common abnormalities, but personal ECG, like the kind you find on the Apple Watch, is not as accurate as medical devices.”

Personal ECG devices are proven to save lives, but on the flip side they can still miss major problems or cause people to worry they have issues with their heart when they don’t. Dr. Grimes calls these “false negatives” and “false positives”.

Although many in the medical profession are warning people to be wary of the results they get from their Apple Watch or other ECG device, having more control over our health at home is going to become more widespread over time.

(Video) Best FDA Approved ECG Smartwatches in 2021 | Apple, Fitbit, Samsung ECG Watches

That means instead of advising against ECG devices, people need to be informed that readings might not always be accurate – but it’s best to head to a medical professional if you see a reading you’re concerned about, to get it checked out.

FAQs

How does a smartwatch ECG work? ›

The ECG technology in a smartwatch uses LEDs flashed against your skin to detect blood flow and measure your heart rate. Sensors collect this information and algorithms process it to make sense of your heart's rhythm.

Which smartwatch has the most accurate ECG? ›

The Apple Watch Series 7 smartwatch is the company's latest and most up-to-date smartwatch. It pairs seamlessly with all compatible iPhones and has a built-in ECG functionality that may be the most advanced yet in a consumer wearable product.

How good is smart watch ECG? ›

The ECG app on the Apple Watch, for example, was shown to have 99.3% specificity for classifying sinus rhythm and 98.5% sensitivity for classifying Afib in a clinical trial using 12-lead ECG as the gold standard. However, other studies have introduced some skepticism around the accuracy of smartwatch-measured ECG.

Why is ECG important smart watch? ›

The technology is designed to help people keep closer tabs on their heart health, and can even be used to help identify atrial fibrillation (Afib) a serious medical condition that is a leading cause of stroke. ECG was thrust into the wearable spotlight via the Apple Watch Series 5.

What smartwatch do cardiologists recommend? ›

What is the best smartwatch for heart health?
  • Apple: heart rate detection, atrial fibrillation detection, blood oxygen detection.
  • FitBit: heart rate detection, atrial fibrillation detection, blood oxygen detection.
  • Samsung: heart rate detection, atrial fibrillation detection, blood oxygen detection.
20 May 2022

How do you take ECG on a smartwatch? ›

Fire up the ECG app, pop your finger on the crown and you'll be guided through the reading. You'll get a notification of whether the reading was normal or Afib, and an EKG graph of your heart rate will be logged in the Apple Health smartwatch app.

Do smartwatches measure blood pressure? ›

Smartwatch-Based Blood Pressure Measurement Demonstrates Insufficient Accuracy. Background: Novel smartwatch-based cuffless blood pressure (BP) measuring devices are coming to market and receive FDA and CE labels. These devices are often insufficiently validated for clinical use.

How accurate is ECG? ›

A review of 78 articles found that physician accuracy of ECG interpretation is just over half at 54% and improves slightly to 67% with some additional training. Accuracy did improve with more advanced training, with medical students having lower accuracy at 55.8% and cardiologists having the greatest accuracy at 74.9%.

Is ECG enough to detect heart problems? ›

An ECG is pretty accurate at diagnosing many types of heart disease, although it doesn't always pick up every heart problem. You may have a perfectly normal ECG, yet still have a heart condition.

How does smartwatch heart rate sensor work? ›

Smartwatches and fitness bands measure heart rate by scanning blood flow near your wrist, by illuminating it with LEDs. The colour green is chosen, because it is absorbed well by our red blood, so optical sensors can gauge the flow of blood and heart beats more accurately.

Can a smartwatch save your life? ›

“They [smartwatches] have the ability to pick up arrhythmias and that is very important because asymptomatic arrhythmias can be life-threatening,” said Dr. Jeffery Freihage, a cardiologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

What is an ECG sensor? ›

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) are placed at certain spots on the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires.

Who invented ECG watch? ›

Willem Einthoven
NationalityDutch
Alma materUniversity of Utrecht
Known forFirst practical electrocardiogram machine Clinical electrocardiography Einthoven's triangle
AwardsNobel Prize in Medicine in 1924
7 more rows

What is the best watch for heart rate and blood pressure? ›

Best for blood pressure monitoring: Omron HeartGuide

According to Omron, this watch is the first to offer a clinically accurate blood pressure monitor. It can also track movements and exercise and measure sleep quality. Additionally, the app can sync with other data for extra health insights.

What does Samsung ECG tell you? ›

How do you use the new ECG feature on the Samsung Health Monitor app?

How accurate is Samsung ECG? ›

The accuracy of automated AF diagnoses by Apple and Samsung outperformed that of Withings, which was attributable to a higher proportion of inconclusive ECGs with the latter (sensitivity/specificity: 87%/86% and 88%/81% vs. 78%/80%, respectively, p < 0.05).

How do you do an ECG? ›

Generally, the test involves attaching a number of small, sticky sensors called electrodes to your arms, legs and chest. These are connected by wires to an ECG recording machine. You don't need to do anything special to prepare for the test. You can eat and drink as normal beforehand.

How does a smartwatch measure blood oxygen level? ›

Blood oxygen saturation is typically measured through a pulse oximeter that clips onto your finger. Smartwatches like the Apple Watch measure this by shining a light through your wrist and measuring the light reflected.

Can smartwatch measure blood sugar? ›

People with prediabetes using Google-owned Fitbit wearable can track changes in blood sugar control, according to a new study. The findings point to tech companies' idea of building diabetes technology into wearable products, The Verge reported.

Can a watch measure blood sugar? ›

Smartwatches cannot currently monitor blood glucose levels directly, but you can link external CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) systems to your smartwatch to get blood sugar readings on your watch. Systems like Dexcom analyze the patient's glucose level, then send the data to their watch (or smartphone).

Can smartwatch measure body temperature? ›

series can “technically” measure its user's body temperature, however, this feature is not yet enabled by the company. As per the report, Samsung has equipped its new generation of smartwatches with a skin temperature sensor, yet there is no way for users to access it right now.

Which watch can measure blood pressure and oxygen? ›

  • Smart Watch, Popglory 1.85'' Call Receive/ Dial Smartwatch, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate/ Blood Oxygen/ Blood Pressure Monitor, Fitness Watch with Built-in Speaker for iOS & Android.
  • (612)
  • $43.99.
  • In Stock.

Can you wear a smartwatch on the inside of your wrist? ›

You can wear your watch as you like . There isn't any rule that you should wear a watch's face on the inside side of your wrist. Most of the people think that it is easier to look at time when your watch in reverse way.

Is there a watch that monitors blood sugar and blood pressure? ›

K'Watch Glucose is a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) device that will track your glucose level continuously throughout the day and night. Check your sugar levels discreetly by simply glancing at the watch.

Which smartwatch should I buy in 2022? ›

Best Smartwatch for 2022
  • Apple Watch Ultra. The best big smartwatch for iPhone owners. ...
  • Apple Watch Series 8. An update to the winning Apple Watch formula. ...
  • Garmin Venu 2. A great fitness companion for Android and iOS. ...
  • Google Pixel Watch. Android's answer to the Apple Watch. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. One of the best Android watches.

What is the #1 smartwatch in the world? ›

Apple Watch Series 7 45mm Aluminium (GPS Only)

The Apple Watch Series 7 is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches in the World, and so is its predecessors.

How accurate is ECG? ›

A review of 78 articles found that physician accuracy of ECG interpretation is just over half at 54% and improves slightly to 67% with some additional training. Accuracy did improve with more advanced training, with medical students having lower accuracy at 55.8% and cardiologists having the greatest accuracy at 74.9%.

Is Samsung watch ECG Accurate? ›

The accuracy of automated AF diagnoses by Apple and Samsung outperformed that of Withings, which was attributable to a higher proportion of inconclusive ECGs with the latter (sensitivity/specificity: 87%/86% and 88%/81% vs. 78%/80%, respectively, p < 0.05).

Can smartwatch detect arrhythmia? ›

We have shown that the detection of cardiac arrhythmias using commercially available smartwatches is possible, with very high diagnostic accuracy.

How accurate is fitbit ECG? ›

The Fitbit ECG app software algorithm was able to correctly identify people with AFib 98.7% of the time and correctly identify people with a normal sinus rhythm 100% of the time.

What are the 3 types of ECG? ›

There are 3 main types of ECG: a resting ECG – carried out while you're lying down in a comfortable position. a stress or exercise ECG – carried out while you're using an exercise bike or treadmill.

Can a ECG be wrong? ›

It turns out that EKGs frequently identify problems that don't really exist, results known as “false positives.” Clinical studies have shown that EKGs actually indicate far more false positives than “false negatives” (where the test fails to identify a real problem).

What is a good ECG reading? ›

If the test is normal, it should show that your heart is beating at an even rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute. Many different heart conditions can show up on an ECG, including a fast, slow, or abnormal heart rhythm, a heart defect, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or an enlarged heart.

Is the Apple ECG accurate? ›

The ability of the ECG app to accurately classify an ECG recording into AFib and sinus rhythm was tested in a clinical trial of approximately 600 subjects, and demonstrated 99.6% specificity with respect to sinus rhythm classification and 98.3% sensitivity for AFib classification for the classifiable results.

What does atrial fib look like on ECG? ›

This means an ECG showing atrial fibrillation will have no visible P waves and an irregularly irregular QRS complex. The ventricular rate is frequently fast, unless the patient is on AV nodal blocking drugs such as beta-blockers or non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers.

How accurate is heart rate on Samsung Watch? ›

Overall, and across all activities, the Fitbit Charge 4 slightly underestimated the heart rate, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 overestimated it (−1.66 beats per minute [bpm]/3.84 bpm).

Can my smart watch detect sleep apnea? ›

Many wearable devices are equipped with advanced sensors that can track sleep stages, oxygen saturation levels, and heart rate, but none are FDA approved to detect or diagnose sleep apnea. At best, the data collected by these devices may indicate that further sleep testing is needed.

What is the best watch for heart rate and blood pressure? ›

The Galaxy Watch 4 continuously displays your heart rate and will notify you if it detects a heart rate that's too low or too high. One distinguishing feature is that it offers Bluetooth, WiFi, and LTE connectivity, meaning it can function as a smartphone if you have an Android device.

Do Smartwatches give accurate heart rate? ›

Smart watches and wrist-worn fitness trackers that estimate your heart rate appear to be reliable in people with a range of different skin tones. But their accuracy may vary during different types of everyday activities, a new study finds.

Which watch can detect AFib? ›

Apple Watch Series 7

It's also capable of taking an electrocardiogram (ECG), which may help detect early signs of a health condition known as atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Can a Fitbit detect heart problems? ›

Fitbit's ECG app records those electrical signals and looks for signs of AFib. To take a heart rhythm assessment, set up the ECG feature in the Fitbit app. With Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications, Fitbit analyzes your heart rhythm while you're still or sleeping and looks out for potential signs of AFib.

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