How to use ECG on Apple Watch: A complete guide

Written By Jignesh Reviewed By Apple Watch How-to 8 Min Read

Your heart is what runs your life, and monitoring it beats periodically can help you avoid any potential health issues. The electrocardiogram (ECG) test records patterns of the heart’s electrical activity, and your Apple Watch can take those measurements right from your wrist. In this post, I’ll show you how to set up and take an ECG with your Apple Watch.

How to set up ECG app on iPhone

Users of Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra can measure their heart rate and rhythm simply by touching their wrist.

  1. Before you begin the procedure, make sure the feature is available in your country or region.
  2. Open the Health app on Apple Watch paired iPhone.
  3. Tap the Browse tab, then tap HeartElectrocardiograms (ECG) → tap on Set Up ECG App.
  4. Next, enter your Date of Birth, and tap Continue → Read the onscreen info and tap Continue.
  5. Finally, you are on Set Up Complete screen appears → tap Done.

Then, head over to the Apple Watch to take the ECG.

Note: The ECG app is not intended for users under 22 years of age.

How to take ECG with your Apple Watch

Taking an ECG on your Apple Watch is not as complicated as it seems. The process is pretty simple and straightforward. However, before starting the scan, ensure that the watch is properly placed on your wrist and that there are no sudden movements for the predetermined duration.  

  1. Press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch and navigate to the ECG app.  
  2. To start the reading, just hold your finger on the Crown.  
    Remember not to press the Digital Crown; just place your finger gently.

    Take ECG on Apple Watch 
  3. The reading will take about 30 seconds
    Do not lift your finger until the reading is completed. 
  4. Once the countdown finishes, you can review your results.  
    In my case, it is Sinus Rhythm.

    Once countdown finishes, review your results on Apple Watch

Understand your ECG test results

Understanding your ECG test result is easy. But for better understanding, we’d recommended consulting a medical expert.

  • Sinus rhythm: Indicates that your heartbeats have a normal, regular pattern. 
  • Inconclusive: An inconclusive result needs further testing to get better answers.
  • Low or high heart rate: A low or high heart rate could indicate a potential heart issue that requires attention.
  • Atrial fibrillation: Atrial fibrillation indicates irregular heartbeat. You should consult a medical expert if you see this.
  • Poor recording: If a poor recording is found, it could be due to movement or poor skin contact with the ECG electrodes. 

The Apple Watch won’t provide you with a thorough report; it will merely summarize your readings. Head over to your iPhone for a detailed analysis.

View ECG results on iPhone

  1. Launch the Health app. 
  2. Tap the Browse option on the bottom right → select Heart.
  3. Navigate to your most recent Electrocardiogram (ECG) reading.

    View ECG results on iPhone

This method lets you view all the readings organized by dates and sessions in one place. 

Share ECG results with your doctor from iPhone

There might be an instance where you feel like sharing your respective reading with the doctor or your family members. Let’s have a peek through the process of the same: 

  1. Go to the Health app → tap Browse → select Heart.
  2. Navigate to the Electrocardiogram (ECG) → tap Chart option to view your ECG result.

    Tap Chart option to view your ECG result on iPhone
  3. Tap the Share icon from the top right.
    Alternatively, you can select Export PDF → tap the Share icon.
  4. Choose the medium through which you want to share the ECG report. 
    Then, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the transfer.

    Share ECG results with your doctor from iPhone

How to enable irregular rhythm notifications on iPhone

If you’re worried about your heart status or fear being in a dire situation, you can opt for getting notified automatically regarding sudden changes in your heart condition. Follow the steps mentioned below to do the same: 

  1. Go to the Health app → tap Browse → select Heart.
  2. Scroll down to Irregular Rhythm Notifications.

    Tap on Irregular Rhythm Notifications in Health app on iPhone
  3. Navigate to Irregular Rhythm Notifications at the bottom → toggle on Irregular Rhythm.

    Toggle on Irregular Rhythm in Health app on iPhone 

If you are accessing the feature for the first time, do the following:

  • Follow steps 1-2 from above, and then tap Set UpContinue.

    Set up irregular rhythm notifications on iPhone
  • Proceed by filling in the necessary details as prompted. Now, you’ll be guided with the capabilities of the Apple Watch, so read it carefully
  • Tap Continue and select Turn on Notifications when prompted.

    Turn on irregular rhythm notifications on iPhone

This procedure should get you started in getting notified automatically if your heart condition is critical. 

Can’t enable Irregular Rhythm Notifications? Quick fixes

However, if you’re unable to turn on Irregular Rhythm Notifications, you might have to tweak the settings a bit. 

  1. Go to the Health app → tap Browse → select Heart.
  2. Scroll down to Irregular Rhythm Notifications.
  3. If the feature is Unavailable, then select the Passcode settings at the bottom of the page. 
  4. Toggle on Wrist Detection and return to the Health app from where you left off.

    Turn ON Wrist Detaction in Watch app on iPhone 
  5. You should now see the Enable option instead of the Unavailable prompt and toggle on Irregular Rhythm.

    Toggle on Irregular Rhythm in Health app on iPhone 

If the problem still persists, you need to sort it out on the Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Watch app → scroll down and choose Heart
  2. Now, toggle on Irregular Rhythm under HEART RATE NOTIFICATIONS.

    Turn On irregular rhythm in Watch app on iPhone 

That’s it! These solutions should cater to any problems you might face in turning on Irregular Rhythm Notifications. 

Note: Patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation cannot enable these notifications. 

Isn’t it simple? 

The Apple Watch has revolutionized the way we measure ECG. With its advanced sensors and technology, users can accurately record and monitor their ECG more conveniently. I am sure you will find this feature helpful.

Follow our guide for more Apple Watch tips and tricks!

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By Jignesh
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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
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