Modern-day smartwatches and gadgets can measure your heart rate throughout the day and alert you of an irregular heartbeat. This is also known as atrial fibrillation or Afib. And in this article, we’ll tell you multiple ways to detect atrial fibrillation with or without using a smartwatch or ECG on other devices.
Detect Irregular Heartbeat With or Without Smartwatch
Before going to the ways to detect irregular heartbeat, let us give you a short brief about what atrial fibrillation is and how ECG tracking can help to detect it.
Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat rhythm that can cause blood clots, heart stroke, and complete heart failure. To detect any symptoms of Arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm), ECG tracking comes into place.
An ECG machine or sensor-based ECG device can track your heart rhythm and check whether it is going in flow or has some ups and downs, which is known as irregular heartbeat rhythm. Let’s check how to detect irregular heartbeat with or without a smartwatch at home.
1. Using a Smartwatch (Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, etc.)
The first way to detect atrial fibrillation is by using a smartwatch. The Apple Watch is the benchmark for the best health-tracking smartwatches, and it also comes with an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an ECG on the wrist.
The ECG on the Apple Watch is similar to a single-lead ECG. It measures a waveform similar to one of the twelve waveforms generated by a 12-lead ECG machine that doctors use. Doctors also prescribe single-lead ECGs to check at home for a better idea about heart rhythm.
You can check your ECG on the Apple Watch by wearing the watch on your wrist. It takes a 30-second ECG measurement, shows the results based on the tracking, and alerts you if it finds any irregular heart rate rhythm symptoms.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch also features an electrical heart sensor to measure ECG. These are the most trusted and reliable smartwatches for health tracking. You can also consider some other brands’ watches like Fitbit, Google, etc. Here is the list of some top smartwatches to take an ECG at home:
- Apple Watch Ultra
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- Fitbit Versa 4
- Fitbit Sense 2
- Google Pixel Watch
- Withings ScanWatch
- COROS Vertix 2
Read more about the best ECG smartwatches to measure irregular heart rate rhythm here!
2. Using Handheld Mobile Connected ECG Machines
The handheld mobile-connected ECG machines are another way to take an ECG test home. These devices are compact in size and are available in single-lead, 6-lead, and 12-lead ECG tracking capabilities. You can connect these devices to your phone with compatible apps.
These devices can detect some more irregular heartbeat rhythms apart from atrial fibrillation, like bradycardia and tachycardia. You have to put two fingers on both sides of the machine where the sensors are located. After taking the ECG, you can see the report, save it, and share it with your doctor via phone.
These devices are very handy and easy to use at home. However, you must buy an FDA-cleared handheld ECG machine that is clinically tested for more accurate and trusted results. For now, you can check this AliveCor Single Lead ECG Device which is one of the best handheld ECG machines for the home.
3. Using 6-Channel/12-Channel Home ECG Machines
The 6-channel and 12-channel ECG machines are also available for use at home. These machines are not like big monitors you generally see in hospitals but work similarly to them.
The 6-channel or 12-channel home ECG machines have a bigger display with button controls to set up some things and measure ECG. You can also print the full-fledge graph ECG report for 1-lead, 3-lead, 6-lead, or 12-lead data. These machines have a built-in printer where you can attach a graph roll, and it will print the reports directly from it.
You have to attach the 6-lead or 12-lead wire setup to the machine and enable the ECG monitoring on it. Select the position of the leads where you have attached it to the person to measure ECG like the chest area.
These machines are not like smartwatch ECGs or handheld ECG machines. These are also used by doctors professionally. In most cases, these machines are not intended for the general consumer.
What to do if Atrial Fibrillation/Irregular HeartBeat is Detected?
If the ECG monitoring machines or smart watches detect atrial fibrillation, it can indicate heart problems and bad heart health. And therefore, it’s advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible and get it diagnosed.
You can either directly share your online report, print it, or take it to the doctor. Get an ECG test done by a doctor to confirm the actual condition of your heart. Form a conclusion only based on the medical report after consultation with the doctor.
These were the ways to detect irregular heartbeat/atrial fibrillation with and without a smartwatch. If you can afford it, the 6-channel and 12-channel home ECG machines are the best. Otherwise, you can also use your Apple Watch or handheld ECG machines. Let us know your thoughts about ECG tracking at home, and stay tuned with WearablesToUse for more informative articles!