] I bet you've seen those machines in a hospital where a patient's heartbeat is displayed as a squiggly line? This is a 12-channel live ECG. The Apple Watch, KardiaMobile and others can replicate a limited version of this test. But what exactly can an ECG tell you about your heart? And how can something attached to your wrist mimic a hospital test? Let us find out.
What is an electrocardiogram?
According to the American Heart Association, an ECG is merely "a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat." Your heart beats because of an electrical signal that causes the upper and then lower heart valves to squeeze to pump blood.
Traditional ECG devices use 12 leads with electrodes attached to the body to measure the electrical signals. All these different electrodes can evaluate(from right to left, from top to bottom and from front to back).
Using an ECG, doctors can examine the rhythm and speed of how this electrical signal moves through your heart to detect all sorts of problems, from harmless irregular rhythms (also called arrhythmias) to cardiac arrest.
ECGs can also tell doctors if parts of your heart are overloaded or enlarged. These two conditions can mean heart disease or heart valve problems.
Incidentally, an ECG is not the same as an echocardiogram. Echocardiograms are essentially an ultrasound of your heart that can detect tumors, heart valve problems, blockages and more.
How does the Apple Watch ECG app work?
The Apple Watch Series 4 features aon the part of the watch that rests on your skin. By opening and then holding your finger on the crown while the watch is on your wrist, create a closed circuit in which the watch can perform an ECG.
While traditional ECG device 12 is used According to research, the Apple Watch measures the heart's electrical signals as effectively as a 12-channel device.
With the ECG app, you can make two cardiac rhythm classifications. a normal "sinus" rhythm or atrial fibrillation (AFib), a serious condition that requires your doctor's attention. If the watch contains the AFib classification, you will be prompted to go to the doctor.
With WatchOS 5, the Apple Watch's built-in heart rate monitor automatically monitors your heart rate and notifies you when signs of AFib are detected.
How does the KardiaMobile 6L work?
AliveCor, which has been producing ECG devices for consumers for several years, launched its KardiaMobile 6L sensor in June 2019 and requires thumbs from each hand to make contact, as well as an ankle or knee on the bottom.
Connects to your smartphone to perform an ECG in 30 seconds to detect a normal heartbeat, AFib,(rapid heart rate).
How does the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 ECG function work?
Unfortunately we do not know it yet. We know that Samsung has included in Watch Active2 an electrocardiogram functionwhich is not yet available for the watch.
What does it matter if you have an ECG on your wrist or at your fingertips?
Despite our advances in medical care, Apple Watch Series 4 and similar devices still can not diagnose you with a disease. They are also not a substitute for regular medical tests or checkups.
The benefit of an EKG built into the Apple Watch or a sensor such as the KardiaMobile 6L is that it can alert you to previously unknown problems and encourage you to seek medical attention.
Does everyone need an ECG on their wrist? Of course not. However, with more medical technology, medical problems are more likely to be discovered or discovered before they become a life-threatening disease.
The Apple Watch Series 4, KardiaMobile and Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active 2 are just the beginning – more and more heart health devices are expected to be available over the coming years.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.