Wednesday , October 20 2021

Apple Watch ECG detected something strange about heart rhythm


When I started testing the new ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4 – free on Thursday Follow OS 5.1.2 & # 39; software update – the last thing I expected was to find something abnormal with my heart rhythm. But that's exactly what happened when I compared Watch & # 39; s readings with the medical-grade ECG equipment in the physician's office.

"We see the same early heartbeat we've seen on the ECG," says the professor. Marcus Marcus, professor of medicine and cardiac electrophysiologist at UCSF Medical Center An Apple Watch Series 4 on my wrist.

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The Apple Watch ECG results showed the same irregular beat as the doctor's ECG.

James Martin / CNET

Abilir These early hits are very common lar but they can cause problems in the long run. That's why we should talk a little more Bu.

Heart rate tracking has always been a big part of the Apple Watch and sports trackers in general. But until now, mainly activity monitoring and calorie counting.

With the OS 5.1.2 Monitoring update, the heart rate will play a more important role in Apple Watch as it gets access to two new FDA-certified features announced by Apple at the launch of September. There are abnormal heart rhythm warnings for all Apple Hours except the first generation model and a series-specific electrocardiogram (ECG or ECG). Both can help stimulate potentially life-threatening heart conditions.

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We tested the Apple Watch ECG against an ECG patient


Measuring heart rate

Heart rate monitoring is not new to wearable devices. Smartwatchers and fitness trackers, LEDs and optical sensors that have been used for many years, are used repeatedly to measure changes in blood flow below the skin surface. When the heart beats, more blood is pumped into the blood vessels that absorb more blood. Among the pulses, with less blood, more light is reflected back into the receivers of the clock.

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Adjust the Irregular heart rate notification in the Health app on Apple Watch Series 1 and beyond.


In 2017, the Apple Watch proactively used heart rate information, adding high heart rate notifications to the hours. This reports that users' hearts rise above a certain level and then add low heart rate notifications. These notifications were made before help users identify serious conditions.

However, the heart rate only measures beats per minute, or the heart rhythm over time, not the pattern between each stroke known as the heart rhythm.

. You can have a regular rhythm that is too fast or too slow, normal says Marcus.

New With irregular rhythm notification, the Apple Watch uses an optical sensor to measure heart rhythm and alerts users when atrial fibrillation (AFib) detects an irregular pattern that may be a type of arrhythmia that can increase your risk of stroke and other serious. complications of heart. This feature will only work for adults over the age of 22 and will not help if you have been diagnosed with AFib before.

ECG in Apple Watch

For a definitive diagnosis, the doctor needs more information than the pulse of the doctor.

, These beats are so early that the heart didn't have enough time to go full, even if it was an early pulse that was electrically occurring, Mar Marcus said. Lar We had to confirm the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation electrically, before we decided to act on it and in general, not just in the pulse record, “he added.

This is where the ECG comes in. An ECG uses electrodes to measure the electrical activity of the heart. A hospital-class ECG usually consists of 10 electrodes placed in different parts of your body. There are two in the Apple Watch Series 4: one electrode in the rear crystal and one electrode on the digital crown.

. This 12-pin ECG shows what's happening electrically in 12 different directions, from the heart of 12 different directions, while the Apple Watch gives you the same electrical activity, but only one direction, Mar Marcus said.


The Apple Watch uses electrodes on the back and digital crown along with the ECG app.

James Martin / CNET

While looking at his monitor, I opened the new ECG app (the abbreviation Apple ECG uses ECG, but doctors call it an ECG). I put my finger on the digital crown and waited until the screen was counted down to 30 seconds. Apple Watch classifies your heart rhythm as AFib, sinus rhythm or no result. My result: no results.

The notification on the Apple Watch says I should go to the doctor if I don't feel good or continue to get the same result. Users could share these results with their doctors as a pdf, but fortunately my doctor had stood by me.

ECG directly from the Apple Watch ECG Marcus coincided with the results of the hospital. There were intermittent early strokes from the lower chamber of my heart.

Tır It would be really useful to watch this or to have the first understanding of these early heartbeats, tır Marcus said. "The only thing missing is the Apple Watch, which tells us more precisely where it came from."


The results from Apple Watch on the iPhone were compared to the 12-track ECG results on paper.

James Martin / CNET

More information equals faster results

Marcus says I'm not going to die for what he found on the ECG, but he wants me to follow my early heart rhythm, something I can't get by without such a test. And for people with more severe heart disease, this can help doctors diagnose and treat the problem earlier.

. Some people feel this when they have atrial fibrillation, but there are not many people. Therefore, we have hope that we can identify people who do not know that there is any other type of atrial fibrillation. Bu

Apple Watch is a direct link to consumer devices with built-in ECG. However, Alivecor's FDA also has other devices such as KardiaMobile and KardiaBand for Apple Watch that allow users to access an ECG outside of the doctor's office. Apple watch contestants like Garmin and Fitbit also work improve heart rate monitoring As more technology company focus on health as a way to attract new life to wearable devices.

Uz We know that the flip side is at risk of false positive results that can cause extreme anxiety, Mar Marcus said.

The irregular heart rate statement is already available in all Apple Watches starting from Series 1 and can be installed in the Heart section of the Watch app. The ECG app is only available in the Apple Watch Series 4 and is only available in the US, but Apple is then expecting to receive legal approval for this feature in other countries.

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