How to enable ECG function on Apple Watch

Since the Series 4 model, the Apple Watch it is able to register the user’s rhythm and heartbeat, through its own sensors, and thereby analyze the atrial fibrillation (FibA) records. But how to activate ECG on Apple Watch?

This article explains all the steps you must take to activate the function.


What you need to enable ECG on your Apple Watch

To be able to activate the electrocardiogram feature on your watch, it is mandatory:

  • Have iOS 13.6 (or later) installed on the iPhone
  • Have watchOS 6.3.8 (or later) installed on Watch
  • Have a compatible watch model (see which models are compatible with ECG)
  • Have the Apple Watch purchased in one of the countries where the ECG was released (read more here)

If you are unable to activate the feature on your watch, some of the items above were probably not respected.

How to enable ECG on your Apple Watch

First of all, your iPhone needs to be at least iOS 13.6 and the watch needs to be updated to watchOS 6.2.8. In previous versions, the feature cannot be activated in Brazil.

When you pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone, open the Health app on the cellphone. With that, you should see an option to activate the ECG. If nothing appears, go to Health data ›Heart› Electrocardiogram (ECG).

To continue, you need to provide your date of birth. Apple says the ECG is not intended for people under the age of 22, so if that’s the case, you may not be able to activate the function.

After the process is complete, just open the ECG application on your Apple Watch to perform an electrocardiogram.

How to perform ECG reading on Apple Watch

To perform an electrocardiogram on the Watch, simply open the ECG application and then place the index finger of the other hand on the digital crown for 30 seconds. There is no need to press the button, just touch it.

The result will tell you whether or not there was any sign of atrial fibrillation. It is possible to generate a PDF with the result, for you to print or send to your doctor.

For best results:

  • Try to support your arms somewhere while registering
  • Relax and try not to move too much
  • Make sure your Apple Watch is properly adjusted to your wrist
  • Your finger and wrist must not be wet during registration
  • Stay away from any electronic device that is plugged into an outlet, so there is no risk of electrical interference in the measurement

Apple also points out that the ECG made on the Watch:

  • Cannot detect a heart attack
  • Cannot detect blood clots or stroke
  • Cannot detect other heart-related conditions

Did you like what you read? There are several other very cool tips on iPhone and iPad here on the blog, all organized in our iPhone Tips section. Check out!