One of the biggest enhancements to the Apple Watch Series 4 over its predecessor is the ability to record an electrocardiogram and detect problems with how the user's heart works. The FDA approved function of the company is now available to users in the United States.
The device may detect irregularities in your heartbeat that may indicate critical conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, that can lead to a stroke. If your watch rates your rhythm as high heart rate or atrial fibrillation, talk to your doctor.
However, it is worth noting that the watch records only a simple ECG with a single lead and this may not detect a stroke, a heart attack or other heart disease such as the 1
If you're using a Watch Series 4 in the US, you can take an ECG:
- Make sure your device is updated to watchOS 5.1. 2 and paired with an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12.1.1 on board.
- Set up the ECG app by opening Apple Health on your device and following the instructions on the screen. A prompt should appear automatically, but if you do not see it, go to Health> Heart> Electrocardiogram (ECG).
- Wear your Watch 4 with a matching wrist rest that you specified in the Apple Watch app (you can find or change it in the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then General> Clock Alignment.)
- Start the ECG app on your watch.
- Place your arms comfortably on a table or in your lap.
- Hold your finger on the Digital Crown for 30 seconds without pressing it. You will then see your results and any symptoms that the device detects.
Tap Save to record your symptoms.
- To check your ECG, open the Health app on your iPhone. Switch to the Health Data tab. Then tap on Heart> Electrocardiogram (ECG) and then on the ECG. There is an option to export a PDF file that you can share with your doctor.