The Apple Watch ECG feature is finally here — but how does it compare to the traditional ECG?
Apple finally released the electrocardiogram (ECG) for the Apple Watch, along with an irregular heart rate notification tool. Apple strictly says these tools are not meant to self-diagnose, and cardiologists have agreed that they should only be used as aids.
“This is not a replacement for a doctor,” explained cardiologist Edo Paz. “This is a tool we invision will empower patients to speak to their doctors and be more informed when speaking to their doctors.”
To take the ECG, you have to open the app, and lightly rest your index finger on the watch’s digital crown for 30 seconds. The watch then produces a single-lead ECG with your heart rhythm. The results are automatically recorded into the Apple Health app where you can print a PDF report and send it to your doctor.
Paz said that both a single and 12-lead ECG could help analyze heart rhythm and detect any irregular patterns that might indicate Atrial fibrillation. But a 12-lead will always be more accurate and provide more info.
The new features have FDA clearance, which means they are safe to use, though they might not be the most accurate.