- Samsung enables ECG monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2.
- Your smartwatch can now check for an irregular heartbeat.
- The matching features from Apple, Fitbit and others have or will be added soon.
The current smartwatches from Samsung will soon become much more useful for detecting heart problems. As of September 23, Samsung will activate ECG (electrocardiogram) monitoring on the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Open the new EKG Monitor app on your Galaxy Watch and use the feature to check for signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib). You need to put your arm on a flat surface and place a finger on the top button for a short time. However, this could be the first indication of an irregular heartbeat that warrants a trip to the doctor.
With the Health Monitor app on a supporting Samsung phone, you can send EKG recordings to your doctor along with symptoms such as dizziness and fatigue.
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The EKG on the Galaxy Watch does not provide a final judgment. You are performing the rough equivalent of an EKG test with a lead with limited information. A doctor will usually do a 12-lead test that can help identify other conditions. Samsung warns that the EKG monitor app cannot detect signs of a heart attack, and you should see a doctor if you have symptoms, regardless of what your Galaxy Watch says.
Samsung comes to the EKG relatively late. The Apple Watch had it from Series 4 in 2018. However, this wasn’t entirely under the control of the tech giant. FDA approval was required before the feature could be available in the US and that takes time. Fitbits Sense, for example, does not offer an EKG until October.
Still, it’s hard to complain. The more smartwatches have EKGs, the more likely it is that your wristbands will alert you to an AFib issue that you might otherwise have overlooked. EKG also makes the Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 more attractive on their own. They’re fitness tools already, but they can also help you manage heart disease before it becomes an emergency.