Modern Smartwatches have a lot of features that can track your heart rate. That includes monitoring all day long as well as looking at a few metrics at a time. Some will even tell you if your heart rate suddenly rises when it shouldn’t, and they will even tell you. The most advanced devices also have electrocardiograms that have been approved by the FDA. These electrocardiograms may help to detect Smartwatch atrial fibrillation.
These are great features, considering that smartwatches were just pedometers a few years ago. It can be useful for people who want to learn more about their bodies or keep track of their fitness progress over time. You can’t keep track of your heart rate zones unless you can check it in real-time. For example, some athletes prefer to train at a certain level of heart rate. There have also been stories of people who say their Smartwatch is saved their lives because it alerted them when their heart rate was too high.
Remember that these are not medical tools, but they can still be very useful. At the end of the day, they can’t figure out what’s wrong with you. They also don’t know how to deal with wearable data that people collect on their own.
There are a lot of different ways these features work, and there are a lot of reasons why you might get a bad reading. In the beginning, we’ll talk about how heart rate monitoring works and how to measure your heart rate, then. When we’re done, we’ll talk about how to use the EKG feature on the smartwatches we have now and what they can and can’t do.
OPTICAL HEART RATE SENSORS: HOW DO THEY WORK?
PPG sensors, which are the green LEDs you see when you flip the device over, are used in a lot of wearables. This is what makes the device work. LEDs shine light into your skin, and the light that comes back is turned into heart rate data by an algorithm. You need to know your resting heart rate, but you also need to know things like your VO2 Max and heart rate variability.
There have been a lot of improvements in optical heart rate sensors over the years, but wrist-based PPG sensors still don’t always work the way they should. Study: People with darker skin or who are obese didn’t use these sensors, as well as people with lighter skin, did. It’s also not the best place for a PPG sensor to be on your wrist. People move their arms a lot, and a company’s algorithm needs to be able to filter that out. People can wear the same smartwatch on both arms and still get slightly different readings, which is why it’s possible.
Fit is also important. If you want to get the most accurate data from your smartwatch, there are a few things you can do to make sure it does.
- The watch should be about one finger in length above your wrist bone.
- There should be a good connection between the sensor array and your skin, so don’t forget to check.
- Tighten the strap while you are working out. If you want to wear the device higher on your wrist, you may also want to.
- Take a damp cloth and wipe the sensor array clean as soon as it gets a little dirty,
HEART RATE AND SETTINGS VIEWING
In the app for your smartwatch, you’ll want to look at the settings. That’s where you can change how often your watch checks your heart rate. Some watches measure your heart rate all the time by default; others only do this a few times a day to help keep the battery alive.
For example, the Apple Watch checks your heart rate when you’re still and when you’re moving. It only works when you’re working out and for three minutes after that when you’re taking a break. You can’t do anything about that. In other words, some devices, like Garmin and Samsung watches, may let you have more say. Each smartwatch company makes its app a little different, but you can usually find heart rate settings in your device’s settings or a menu for health settings.
Your watch may also be able to tell you when your heart rate is low or high. In this case, when you’re at rest, your heart rate will go below or above a certain level. In this case, if you’re sitting still and your heart rate goes up to 120 beats per minute, you might get an alert on your phone. A lot of watches let you set the range for these alerts, so you can get them when you want.
These settings can be found on some of the most popular devices and can be used to measure your heart rate.
To change your heart rate settings, open the Watch app and scroll down the list of apps you have. Then, click on Heart. From here, you can set up a variety of health tests:
- When you turn on Cardio Fitness Notifications, it will let you know when it thinks your cardio fitness level is too low to keep up with.
- In this case, if your watch picks up heart rhythms that could be a sign of atrial fibrillation, you’ll get a notification.
- High and low heart rate alerts can also be set. These notifications let you know when you’ve crossed a certain point while you’re not doing anything.
- Again, none of these are signs that something is wrong.
To figure out your heart rate:
- When you click the digital crown, your apps will show up on the screen.
- Tap the Heart app to use it. It has a red background with a heart on it.
- From there, you can start a heart rate reading by yourself.
- To see your resting heart rate and average heart rate while walking, you can also scroll down to the bottom of the page.
TRACKERS AND SMARTWATCHES FOR FITBIT
To change heart rate settings:
Examine your profile picture in the upper left. Then, tap it.
Look at the Settings at the bottom of the page.
Tap on Activity and Wellness
Take a look at the settings on your heart.
When you go here, you can set your own high and low heart rate alerts, and you can set heart rate zones for exercise.
- In the upper left, tap the profile symbol.
- Select the profile for the device.
- To change these alerts, press High and Low heart rate.
- Check your heart rate:
Swipe up from the clock face to see your heart rate.
- People who use the Exercise app can also see their heart rate during exercise.
- The heart rate will also be shown on some clock faces.
- It’s also possible to get more information from the Fitbit app’s main screen.
Samsung’s Tizen watches have this:
- Take a watch and press its power button.
- Make sure you have the Samsung Health app on your phone so you can use it.
- swipe to Heart Rate and scroll down to the bottom.
- Tap into HR and stress measurement to help you.
- As soon as that’s done, the options should be the same as they were above
High and low heart rate alerts:
- Go to Samsung Health.
- Tap your heart rate.
- HR and Stress Management or Auto HR settings are at the bottom of the page. Click to learn more.
- Set your watch to measure your heart rate all the time.
- Tap More Options or the three dots to see more options, then choose what you want.
- Set up your HR alerts
- From here, you can change the alerts you get.
To measure your heart rate by hand:
When you’re in the Samsung Health app, click the heart rate button.
Tap the Measure button.
There are only a few smartwatches in the US that can read EKGs. So even if the smartwatch you buy has this feature, you’ll have to check to see if your country has approved it.
This is what happens if your smartwatch has an EKG. It looks for electrical signals coming from your heart and reads them. The smartwatch’s heart rate monitor is an electrode, and when you touch your finger to the case or the digital crown, you make a closed loop. If your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation after a short time, you’ll be told. You’ll only be told about that one reading.
Keep in mind that no watch can give you a real medical diagnosis. It’s the least you can do with this information. You can export it to a PDF file that you can then send to your doctor. There’s no need to use this feature at all if your doctor gave you a good report.
It’s also important to know that you might get some readings that don’t agree with each other. A lot of things could be going on at the same time. First, you usually have to stay very still to get these EKG readings. If you move around too much, that could make the results less clear. Also, your skin might be a little wet, which can mess with reading.
Each smartwatch company will have its suggestions for how to fix problems with the EKG feature. The general idea is to relax and stay still while using the EKG feature.
GALAXY WATCH SAMSUNG by Samsung
Only the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Galaxy Watch 3, and the Galaxy Watch 4 can read EKGs.
The best way to start:
- Make sure your watch and phone are running the most up-to-date software before you do anything else.
- Open the Samsung Health Monitor app on your watch to see how well you’re taking care of yourself.
- Tap the Download App button to get the app now.
- When you click on this, your phone should open up the app download page.
- Install requires pressing Install.
- To start the Samsung Health Monitor app, go to the Play Store and search for “Sam
- tap next and fill out all the information boxes that come up.
- Then, click Finish. To start, you should see a button that says “Start.”
- Once you do that, you’ll have to follow a few more screen prompts.
- Choose which wrist you’ll wear the watch on.
- Take an EKG on your watch now.
To save your results, you should:
- You can open the Samsung Health Monitor app on your phone to see how your health is.
- Tap ECG and choose View History.
- Select the report that you want to export, then click the “Export Report” button.
- Tap the Share This Report button.
- Select the format you want to send your message in, then click the “Send” button (PDF, email, etc.)