Apple Watch Spots AFib

The software update which allows the Apple Watch 4 to take an EKG and to detect atrial fibrillation went live last week. In anticipation of the availability of these functions, I purchased an Apple Watch 4.  As soon as the software was available, I downloaded it and have used it every day since. So far, I am quite pleased with my purchase.  The technology works very well, even despite the fact that I have an implantable pacemaker/defibrillator.

The strip it takes looks like this:

EKG Picture Apple WAtch

You can send a strip via email to your doctor, and all are saved for posterity on your Iphone.  (NOTE:  YOU MUST HAVE AN IPHONE CAPABLE OF RUNNING THE SOFTWARE IN ORDER TO USE THE WATCH).

And, as long as you tell the software that you have never been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, if it detects atrial fibrillation while you wearing the watch, it will send you an alert.  I haven’t gotten such an alert yet and hope not to!

This article provides a pretty accurate history of handheld consumer EKG devices along with a description of what it is like to download and use the Apple software.

And here is a story about a man whose watch spotted his previously undiagnosed Afib. After a trip to the emergency room, he was able to receive proper treatment and avert a potential health crisis.


3 thoughts on “Apple Watch Spots AFib

  1. I also purchased the Apple Watch 4 to help me keep track of my afib. Within a few hours of downloading the software I was getting alerts on my phone that I was in afib. I was able to use the ECG monitor to monitor the entire length of the episode (80 hours) and know when I went back into a normal sinus rhythm.
    It worked perfectly and now I can keep an up-to-date list of my afib episodes instead of having to wait for my yearly checkup.


  2. I have only had Afib once ( that I know of! ) and that was while I was in the EP lab. I was put on anti coagulation after that single short episode. My cardiologist sited the “extremely high risk” of HCMers to develop Afib. I can’t remember the exact statistic but I think it was around 30%…..maybe Cynthia knows the correct percentage. Anyway, I have the Kardia EKG pads and app on my Iphone which has been extremely helpful….in that if I don’t feel well or have unusual palpitations I can just grab my phone and get an EKG and send it to my Cardiologist. The EKGs from the Kardia, sent during pre-syncope episodes, allowed the EP cardiologist to see exactly what was happening during the episodes which were intense but very short and never occurred in the doctors office or on a month long holter monitor. I assume the Iwatch can do the same thing? Can you tap it to record an event that is not Afib?I think this new I phone watch ekg app sounds like a great tool for anyone with HCM….. Integrated with good HCM management by your Cardiologist it could be life saving.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s