How to enable ECG on Apple Watch

Since the Series 4 model, the Apple watch It is able to record the user's rhythm and heartbeat through its own sensors, and thereby analyze atrial fibrillation (FibA) records. But how to enable ECG on Apple Watch?

This article explains all the steps you must do to enable the feature.

First of all, it's good to make it clear that the function not yet released in Brazil And if you try to activate it while you're in the country, you won't get it no matter where you bought the watch (and believe me, we tried all the possible gambiarras). We explain this later.

Authorized Phases

Any and all devices offering electrocardiogram needs authorization from the health agencies of each country, as it functions as a “medical healthcare equipment“. And in Brazil this release is analyzed by ANVISA (National Health Surveillance Agency).

At the launch of the Series 4, the feature was limited only to devices purchased in the United States, so it was easy to buy one from there and activate the feature in Brazil (or any other region). However, when it began to be released in other countries, Apple had to implement a geo-localization activation, forcing the user to be geographically in an authorized region at the time of activation.

That is, you can only enable ECG on your Apple Watch by stopping it with your iPhone when you are geographically in one of the authorized countries.

But if trying to fool iPhone geolocation, does it work?No. Or better, it would even work, but the problem Apple uses is the hardest way to circumvent geo-location, which is to get the information of cellular antennas. It's no use changing your system region, using VPN or using software like fake gpsBecause to enable the ECG you need to be connected to a cellular network (even without internet connection), which will capture the triangulation information from the antennas to determine where you are.

If I bring an Apple Watch purchased in Brazil to the US, does the ECG work?No.The function can only be activated if you have a model purchased in an authorized country and activate in an authorized country. It matters little if you buy in one country and activate in another, but both conditions must be respected. If you buy the device in an unauthorized country, you have to wait for the day that country officially receives the ECG.

Compatible models

Not any Apple Watch that offers the possibility of ECG, as something that depends on hardware and not just software.

The electrocardiogram function can only be activated in models from Series 4.

How to activate if you live in Brazil

If you live in Brazil and do not want to wait for Anvisa, you will have to buy Watch in one of the authorized countries. In addition, you need to enable ECG 1 before returning to Brazil.

The good news is that once enabled, it will work normally anywhere you go, even updating iOS (as long as you do not restore without backup).

The bad news is that no one can do this for you, because I need to first pair the watch with your iPhone. If you have a friend or relative traveling, it's no use activating it on their iPhone, because when you get back you have to repair with your iPhone and the ECG needs to be activated again.

So for travelers: if you buy Apple Watch in another country, pair it yourself and turn on the ECG before you return to Brazil. This will allow you to use the function normally after that.

How to enable ECG in Watch

When pairing the Apple Watch Series 4 with your iPhone, open the app Sade on the cellphone. With this you should see an option to enable the ECG. If nothing appears, go to Health Data Heart Electrocardiogram (ECG).

To continue, you must enter your date of birth. Apple claims that the ECG is not intended for people under 22, so if it is your case, you may not be able to activate the function.

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

How to read ECG on Apple Watch

To perform an electrocardiogram on Watch, simply open the ECG app.and then touch the index finger of the other hand to the Digital Crown for 30 seconds. No need to press the button, just touch it.

The result will tell 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 you register
  • Relax and try not to move too much
  • Make sure Apple Watch is well fitted to the wrist
  • Your finger and wrist may not be wet during registration
  • Move away from any electronic device that is plugged into an outlet so that you do not have the risk of electrical interference with the measurement.

Apple further points out that the ECG made in Watch:

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