Wearable brand Garmin is actively researching whether its smartwatches can be used to track ECG and atrial fibrillation (Afib). Results of the Clinical Trial are expected in July.
What is an ECG?
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that is used to check the health of your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. The tech is often used to diagnose symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart attacks and cardiomyopathy.
In the doctors office, a test involves attaching a series of electrodes to your arms, legs and chest. These sensors lead from your body to an ECG recording machine.
Previously you could only take ECGs in medical settings or by purchasing a bulky machine. That has changed in recent years. You could say, home-ECG monitoring has been popularized by the Apple Watch. Series 4 and above come with the tech built in allowing anyone to keep an eye on their heart health from the comfort of their living room.
This works on demand. Users are meant to launch the ECG app and rest their finger against the digital crown on the Apple Watch. This creates a closed circuit with the sensor on the back and then the electrodes work in tandem to capture electrical impulses from the heart.
But Apple is not the only wearable brand with ECG monitoring. There are others such as Withings, Fitbit and Samsung, plus a number of less well known options.
What you’ll notice is that Garmin is not on this list. Unlike some other wearable brands, Garmin has not yet integrated ECG into its products. Well, that might be about to change.