Skip to main content

Garmin may finally catch up with this key Apple Watch heart health feature

Garmin is heavily rumored to be working on its own version of an electrocardiogram sensor, a device that could help to improve its heart health metrics by identifying irregular heart rate rhythms.

ECG sensors don’t measure your blood flow; instead, they detect signs of atrial fibrilation, or AFib, which is a cause of strokes and heart issues, and can alert you if it picks up indicators of the condition. 

None of the smartwatches that have ECG sensors are 'medical grade' or certified for use in a clinical setting – not even the best Apple Watch or the best Fitbit – but ECG readings can provide a useful indication that you should get yourself checked out by a medical professional. Considering how advanced Garmin is in the smartwatch space, it’s interesting that it’s taken the company so long to get here, and that it hasn't considered the feature a priority in the same way as its competitors. 

According to The5KRunner, which has a good track record of predicting future Garmin features, a reliable source has indicated that the feature is coming with a new series of Forerunner watches, the 265 and 965. Spotted by our colleagues at Advnture, the leak reveals that you’ll be able to place two fingers on the metal bezel in front of the watch, and it will create a circuit with the metal sensor that sits on your wrist. The Apple Watch uses the digital crown to achieve the same result. 

ECG is available on the Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Charge 5, and has been available on the Apple Watch since the Series 4. So why has it taken so long for Garmin to bring the feature to its watches?

Garmin Fenix 7 vs Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)

Garmin’s website informs us that newer watches can identify “abnormal” heart rate spikes after a workout. It says “if you are inactive for 10 minutes or more, and your heart rate stays above your set threshold, you’ll get an alert on the watch. This setting is found under the Heart Rate settings typically accessed from the Heart Rate widget on the watch”. However, this is different than a true ECG app, which can look for irregularities in your heart rate on command, not just immediately following a workout.

A bit of boxed text on the same page also stresses that “Garmin watches are not medical devices. The heart rate monitor data is not intended to be used for medical purposes, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.” That said, ECG apps aren’t authorized for use in clinical settings either, and are only supposed to provide an indication that something could be awry. 

The simplest answer is that Garmin has never needed ECGs to sell itself, concerning itself only with the accuracy of its heart rate sensor during workouts and sleep tracking. Garmin watch wearers, who often look for specialist devices, are probably less likely to be concerned with having an ECG sensor than 'lifestyle' watch fans who wear the Sense 2 or Apple Watch, both do-it-all health devices.

However, expect Garmin to announce its ECG debut with a bit of ceremony when (if?) the first ECG-capable watch arrives later this year.  

Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Cyber Monday Canada: Last-minute deals for everyone on your list

Best Cyber Monday Canada deals: Smart Home Audio Phones, Tablets & Accessories Wearables Laptops & PC Components Amazon products Gaming Televisions Cameras Lifestyle & Kitchen Toys & Kids Cyber Monday Canada is here, and retailers are rolling out the red carpet for customers who want to shop for everything from tech to kitchenware to games and everything in between. Unlike years past, Cyber Monday Canada deals look a bit different than normal. Instead of retailers trying to pack their stores with as many shoppers as possible, we're seeing tons of online deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your home. We've rounded up our favorites below, so feel free to browse through the best of what Canada Cyber Monday has to offer! This list is being updated with new Cyber Monday deals all the time, so check back often. Spotlight deals It's a Switch Nintendo Switch Fortnite Edition bundle $399.95 at Amazon It's a Switch.

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Slack’s new integration deal with AWS could also be about tweaking Microsoft

Slack and Amazon announced a big integration late yesterday afternoon. As part of the deal, Slack will use Amazon Chime for its call feature, while reiterating its commitment to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider to run its infrastructure. At the same time, AWS has agreed to use Slack for internal communications. Make no mistake, this is a big deal as the SaaS communications tool increases its ties with AWS, but this agreement could also be about slighting Microsoft and its rival Teams product by making a deal with a cloud rival. In the past Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has had choice words for Microsoft saying the Redmond technology giant sees his company as an “existential threat.” Whether that’s true or not — Teams is but one piece of a huge technology company — it’s impossible not to look at the deal in this context. Aligning more deeply with AWS sends a message to Microsoft, whose Azure infrastructure services compete with AWS. Butterfield didn’t say that of course

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Buyer's Guide: 50+ Differences Compared

The iPhone 15 Pro brings over 50 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, which was released two years prior. This buyer's guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations and helps you to decide whether it's worth upgrading. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, Macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and five hours of additional battery life. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro was discontinued upon the announcement of the iPhone 14 Pro in 2022, but it is still possible to get hold of it second-hand. Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhone models is best for you and serves as a way to c