How My Apple Watch’s Heart Rate Monitoring Saved My Life

Bethany Walsh

Jul 11, 2022

Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent irregular heartbeat and a key risk factor for stroke, and the irregular heart rhythm notice (for all Apple Watches) will alert you to abnormal heart rhythms indicative of AFib.

Because heart disease and stroke are preventable causes of death for both men and women, it is understandable that people are eager to adopt preventative heart-related technologies. The stories about the Apple Watch's ECG function saving people's lives haven't hurt.

How useful are these AFib characteristics in the grand scheme of things? You or someone you care about may benefit from their use. It's worth reading the entire article if you're considering purchasing a Series 4 or waiting for a Series 5.

How To Check Your Heart Rate

Using a Heart Rate app, the current rate is 68 BPM, and the resting rate is 56 BPM.

Using the Heart Rate app, you may monitor your heart rate anytime. Wait for your heart rate to be recorded by the app after you open it on your Apple Watch. You may also monitor your daily resting, walking, breathing, exercising, and recuperation rates. Add the Heart Rate complication to your watch face or place the app in the Dock to open it quickly.

Additionally, you can receive notifications when your heart rate rises or falls outside a predetermined range of beats per minute (BPM) or check for an abnormal heart rhythm regularly.

When Apple Watch Measures Your Heart Rate

The Health app on the iPhone and the resting heart rate app on the Apple Watch can be used to take heart rate measures.

Workout recovery rate is calculated by continually monitoring the wearer's heart rate while working out and for three minutes following the workout's conclusion. Check your settings if you don't see your heart rate.

Apple Watch estimates your calorie expenditure based on this and other data it collects. Apple Watch monitors your heart rate intermittently while walking and continuously while standing still (Apple Watch Series 1 or later). The interval between these background readings can vary depending on how active you are. The Apple Watch can also determine a daily resting rate and walking average using background heart rate readings and accelerometer data. The Health app in Sources lets you choose which third-party applications can access your health data.

How The Apple Watch measures your Heart Rate

Notifications Of Your Heart Rate

Apple Watch monitors your heart rate in the background to see if it's abnormally high or low, which might indicate something more serious. To assist you and your patients in identifying situations that require additional investigation.

After 10 minutes of inactivity, the user will be alerted if the patient's heart rate is between 120 and 40 beats per minute. Patients can adjust the bpm threshold or turn on or off these reminders. The Health app on the iPhone displays all your heart rate notifications and the current date, time, and heart rate.

Notifications Of Irregular Rhythms

Occasionally, the irregular rhythm notification looks for evidence of atrial fibrillation (AFib). This function will not detect all occurrences of AFib, but it may be able to provide your patients with an early warning that further assessment may be necessary.

When a user is at rest, the optical heart sensor detects the pulse wave at the wrist and looks for irregular beat-to-beat intervals, which can indicate an irregular heartbeat. Your patient will receive notifications, and the date, time, and beat-to-beat heart rate will be recorded in the Health app if the algorithm detects an abnormal rhythm suggestive of AFib.

Those over 22 who have never had atrial fibrillation are eligible for the irregular rhythm notification feature.

Validation Of The Irregular Rhythm Detection Feature

Atrial fibrillation, a heartbeat abnormality that is a primary cause of stroke and hospitalization, was detected by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and Apple in the Apple Heart Study in 2017 and 2018. More than 400,000 Apple Watch wearers' participated, helping prove that wearable technology can detect this disease earlier. After conducting a study, the irregular rhythm notice was first made available. Advanced machine learning techniques were used in early 2022 to improve the AFib detection system.


It is possible for individuals who feel symptoms such as a rapid or skipped heartbeat or who receive an abnormal rhythm notification to record an ECG using the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later. Using this data from the real world, you can make better-informed and more timely decisions about your care and treatment in the future.

If you've got an Apple Watch Series 4 or later, the ECG app can record a single-lead ECG, much like Lead I of a traditional ECG. Atrial fibrillation, sinus rhythm, or atrial fibrillation with a high heart rate are all possible results from the ECG app. The user can next enter any symptoms, such as dizziness or exhaustion. You can share a PDF of your health data with your doctor, which includes the waveform, results, date, time, and any symptoms you experienced. Anytime a patient exhibits signs of an urgent medical situation, they are instructed to dial 911 immediately.

Users above the age of 22 can download the FDA-approved ECG app.

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