Along with the ECG feature, another function was recently released by Apple in Brazil: the irregular heart rate warnings on Apple Watch. They serve to check for the existence of a possible irregular rhythm that may constitute a sign of atrial fibrillation (FibA).
See in this tutorial how to activate the function on your Apple Watch.
Irregular heart rate warnings
The Apple Watch always brought high or low heart rate warnings. That is, if you are at rest and suddenly your heart speeds up, the clock sends an alert to let you know that something is not right. The difference now is that, in addition to these warnings, it will also alert you when you identify irregularities in the rhythm as a whole.
The watch reads the heartbeat from period to period to check for the existence of a possible irregular rhythm that may constitute a sign of atrial fibrillation (FibA). This reading normally occurs when the user is not on the move, to ensure more reliable results. The number of daily readings and the time elapsed between readings will vary depending on the degree of activity.
FibA is a type of irregular heart rhythm and occurs when the heart beats in an irregular pattern. It is a common form of irregular heart rhythm in which the beats of the upper and lower heart chambers are out of sync.
Heart rhythm irregularities become more common as people age. Some people with FibA do not have any symptoms. Others have symptoms that can include a fast heartbeat, palpitations, fatigue or shortness of breath. It can be temporary or chronic.
How to turn on irregular heart rate warnings on your Apple Watch
These notices are not active on the Apple Watch by default and it is the user who must activate them manually. To do this, open the Watch application on the iPhone and access the menu Heart.
Which watch models are supported
Unlike ECG, irregular heart rate warnings on the Apple Watch can be activated on almost every generation of the apple watch, from Series 1 onwards. Only the original model (the first launched in 2015) was left out.
What you need to turn on irregular heart rate warnings
To be able to turn on irregular heart rate warnings on your Apple Watch, you need to:
- Have iOS 13.6 (or later) installed on the iPhone
- Have watchOS 6.3.8 (or later) installed on Watch
- Have the Apple Watch purchased in one of the countries where the ECG was released (read more here)
What to do when you receive an irregular heart rate warning
The warning this means that the Apple Watch has identified an irregular heart rate that indicates FibA, confirmed through various readings.
If you have not been diagnosed with FibA before, see a doctor.
- Apple Watch does not detect heart attacks. If you feel pressure, tightness or pain in your chest or any other symptom that indicates a heart attack, call emergency services immediately.
- The Apple Watch does not take constant readings to identify FibA. This means that the Apple Watch does not detect all instances of FibA, and people with this condition may not receive a notification.
- If you are not feeling well, talk to a doctor, even if you have not received a notification. Symptoms such as rapid, intense or irregular heartbeat, dizziness and fainting can indicate a serious health problem.
- Do not change your medication without talking to a doctor.
- In some cases, the notification may indicate the presence of an arrhythmia other than FibA.