7 Best ECG Smartwatches in 2021: Top Brands Only

“Here is my hand-picked list of the best ECG smartwatches and devices for 2021. Read the complete review to choose the best ECG monitoring devices trusted by many.”

Best Smartwatches with ECG

According to the CDC, 6,55,000 Americans die every year due to cardiac diseases, which means that one person dies every 36 seconds due to cardiac diseases in the USA. 

ECG or Electrocardiogram is a life-saving feature added to the latest smartwatches. 

But just having a smartwatch with EKG or ECG may not help you because accuracy matters a lot here. If you want to have a closer look at your cardiac health(heart health), you must have one of the best ECG smartwatches clinically validated by the authorities like the FDA. 

Today in this article, I have listed the best FDA Approved ECG Smartwatches in 2021. I hope this will helps you to choose the best ECG monitoring smartwatch.

7 Best ECG Smartwatches and Devices in 2021

Here is my top pick as the best smartwatch with ECG in 2021. I will be regularly updating this article with the latest ECG monitoring watches.

Apple Watch 6: Best ECG Smartwatch for Apple Phone

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 is one of the best ECG smartwatches for iPhone users in 2021. It also has many other vital health monitoring features such as heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level monitoring(SpO2), fall detection, Emergency SOS, etc.

ECG Tracking Feature

It measures and analyses ECG with its FDA Approved ECG App and two advanced heart rate sensors called electrical heart rate sensor and 3rd generation optical heart sensor.

How to take ECG on Apple Watch Series 6?

As it does not have any wires or cables, you can take ECG conveniently by sitting anywhere. For improved accuracy, make sure you sit in a calm and quiet place and follow the instructions below.

  • Wear your Apple watch comfortably on the wrist(preferably on the left hand)
  • Open ECG App on your Apple Watch
  • Now hold your finger on the digital crown for 30 seconds( you can see a 30-sec count down on display.
  • After 30 seconds, it will show you the result on display.

After ECG, the possible results are as follows:

  • Sinus Rhythm
  • Atrial Fibrillation(AFIb): If it shows atrial fibrillation, you should contact your doctor immediately. 
  • Low or high heart rate: Contact your doctor
  • Inconclusive

You can see more details about Apple ECG here.

Once the ECG is taken, you can head towards Apple Health App to download and share your ECG as a PDF file with your doctor. 

You can also enable irregular heart rate alert on your Apple Watch. Once this feature is activated, it regularly checks your heart rate for any irregular heart rhythm and alerts you in the case of an abnormal heart rhythm.

If you are not feeling well, your Apple Watch can automatically call emergency service right from your wrist along with your location so that the Emergency personnel can reach you your current location.

Fall detection is another excellent feature(life-saving feature) in Apple Watch Series 6. In case of a hard fall, it automatically activates an alarm. If you do not move or respond to the alarm, it will automatically call the local Emergency service and share your location with them.

Other Features

  • Durable and premium design
  • Blood oxygen level monitoring(SpO2)
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Built-in GPS
  • Always on retina display
  • Apple Fitness+ support(free for 3 months)
  • Multiple watch faces.

Pros

  • Advanced health and activity tracking features
  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in Music storage
  • Music streaming, Podcast and Audiobook support
  • 18 hours of battery life

Cons

  • Costly
  • It does not work with Android devices

Our Verdict

Apple Watch Series 6 is the most advanced smartwatch for Apple Phone users. The upgraded software and hardware makes it superior to its predecessors such as Apple Watch Series 5 and 4. The SpO2 feature is also incorporated in Apple Watch Series 6, which is not available in any other Apple Watches. 

In a nutshell, if you are looking for an advanced Apple watch with health, fitness, and smart features, Apple Watch Series 6 is the best choice for you.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Best Smartwatch with ECG for Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a perfect alternative for Apple Watch Series 6 for Android phone users. In addition to FDA Approved ECG app, it has many other health tracking features such as blood oxygen(SpO2), B.P. monitoring, calorie tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, and much more. Like Apple Watch, it can also detect heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, irregular heartbeats, and increased or decrease heart rate.

ECG Tracking Feature

Early days ECG tracking feature was only available to Apple watch users only. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 were the first fitness watch that comes with an FDA approved ECG App for Android devices.

How to take an ECG with Samsung Galaxy Watch 3?

Now Galaxy Watch 3 comes with the Samsung Health Monitor app preinstalled on it. If it is not available on your smartwatch, you can download it from the Galaxy Apps store. Once Samsung Health App installed on your device, you are ready to take an ECG.

Follow the steps below to take an ECG reading.

  • Sit in a calm and quiet place.
  • Avoid any exercise for at least 5-10 minutes before taking an ECG.
  • Wear Galaxy Watch 3 on your wrist and keep your hands on the table
  • Open Samsung Health Monitor App
  • Now gently touch on the top button on the smartwatch’s right-hand side (if you are wearing on the left hand). 
  • You should keep the finger there for 30 seconds(the watch will display a countdown)
  • After 30 seconds, the device will display your ECG result.

The expected ECG results are as follows.

  • Sinus Rhythm: Normal ECG
  • Atrial Fibrillation: It means that your heart rhythm is abnormal, and you should immediately contact your doctor.
  • Inconclusive: It means that your smartwatch is unable to detect your heart rhythm. In this case, also, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

You can read more about the Samsung Smartwatch ECG feature here.

The blood pressure monitoring and SpO2 features is another great feature in this smartwatch. All these health and activity tracking features make this device one of the best health tracking smartwatches in 2021.

Fall detection and emergency SOS is also available in this EKG Smartwatch for android devices. In case of hard fall, the smartwatch detects that and send SOS message to your Emergency number along with your location. 

When it comes to design, the Galaxy Watch 3 looks like its predecessor Galaxy Watch. The latest Galaxy Watch3 also inherited its traditional hybrid look and also its rotating bezels.

Here is a complete guide on how to set up fall detection on Galaxy Watch3.

Other Features of Galaxy Watch3

  • Beautiful design
  • Beautiful rotating bezel
  • It tracks your sleep patterns.
  • Calorie tracking
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • In-board music storage
  • On-board GPS
  • The battery life is 24 hours on a single recharge.
  • Allow you to make calls and SMS directly from the smartwatch without a phone(LTE Model)
  • Automatic activity detection

Now let us have a look into a few pros and cons of this Smartwatch.

Pros

  • Premium and traditional design
  • Best Health & wellness tracking smartwatch for Android
  • FDA Approved ECG
  • Samsung Pay
  • Guided breathing
  • Works with both Android and iOS

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some features restricted to Apple devices.

Our Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is the best ECG smartwatch for android devices that comes with many health and wellness tracking features. Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is our top recommendation as the best FDA Approved ECG watch for Android users.

Apple Watch Series 5: Top Pick ECG Smartwatch

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 is another best ECG tracking wearable for Apple Watch users. Like Apple Watch Series 6, it is also packed with many cutting edge features and functionalities. It is ideal for people who are looking for a mid-range Apple watch with EKG feature.

ECG Tracking Feature

The Apple Watch Series 5 comes with an ECG App/sensors approved by the FDA. It can detect irregular rhythm, atrial fibrillation, and also abnormal heartbeats. Once the irregular heartbeat monitoring feature is activated, it can alert you in case of any abnormal heart rate so that you can seek medical help immediately.

How to Take ECG on Apple Watch Series 5

The methods to take ECG on every Apple ECG device are the same. However, the latest models like Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple watch 5 has the newest technology to record ECG than its predecessor Apple Watch 4. Follow the steps below to take ECG on Apple Watch 5.

  • Relax and sit in a calm and quiet place
  • Open ECG App
  • Keep your finger on the watch crown for 30 seconds.
  • You will get ECG results on your smartwatch screen after 30 seconds.

The possible results are the same as we discussed earlier in the Apple Watch 6. Like Series 6, it also allows you to share your ECG with your doctor for review.

The advanced accelerometer in Apple Watch 5 can detect a handful like Apple Watch 6. However, it does not have a blood oxygen level monitoring (SpO2) feature. If you want to have all these features, you have to spend a few more bucks for Series 6.

Other Features of Apple Watch 5

  • Premium design
  • Sleep monitoring
  • It monitors you for abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Incident detection and Emergency SOS
  • Always on Retina display
  • The battery life of 18 hours
  • Dual heart rate sensor
  • Built-in Navigation and compass
  • International Emergency Calling feature
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters

The Apple watch constantly monitoring your heart rate and rhythm. If your heart rate is above or below the normal limit, it alerts you with the notification. Similarly, the Apple watch’s irregular rhythm notification feature frequently looks for your heartbeat and notifies in case of any irregularities in heart rhythm. It is an important feature as it might be an early sign of atrial fibrillation.

Pros

  • Aluminium case
  • Durable design
  • FDA Approved ECG
  • Availability of cellular model
  • On-board music storage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only work with iOS devices.
  • No SpO2

Our Verdict

Apple Watch 5 is the predecessor to Apple Watch 6. It has almost the same features and specs as Series 6. However, it lacks a few other important features like SpO2. If you are an Apple watch user and do not want to spend money on Series 6, this device is best for you.

Fitbit Sense: Best Alternative for Apple Watch Series 6

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense is one of the most advanced health-tracking smartwatches ever made by the Fitbit. The Fitbit Sense comes with an ECG feature cleared by the FDA.

ECG Features in Fitbit Sense

The Fitbit Sense comes with a clinically validated 30-second on-wrist ECG tracking feature. As we said about other watches, Fitbit Sense can also detect irregular heart rhythm, irregular heart rate and Atrial Fibrillation(A.F.).

How to take ECG on Fitbit Sense?

The Fitbit Sense uses electrical sensors behind the watch and a metal case to take an ECG. Here are the simple steps to take an ECG on this wearable device.

  • Wear your smartwatch comfortably on your wrist(not too loose or too tight)
  • Sit on a chair in a calm place.
  • Open EKG App on the smartwatch
  • Since Fitbit Sense does not have a digital crown, you must hold the smartwatch with your index finger and thumb, as shown in the video below.
  • Wait for 30 seconds. You can see a countdown on display.
  • After 30 seconds, it will display your heart rhythm on the screen.

You can download your ECG report in PDF format from the Fitbit App, and you can share it with your doctor for a review. You can also view and download the past results from the Fitbit App.

The possible ECG result in Fitbit sense is the same as follows.

  • Sinus Rhythm
  • Atrial Fibrillation(AFib)
  • Inconclusive

The Fitbit Sense also gives the same results as the Apple watch wearable devices.

Please note that the ECG take by an ECG /EKG watch does not replace any medical advice. You should not change the medication based on ECG taken on a wearable ECG monitor. 

It can also track your sleep, SpO2, stress, breathing, heart rate variability, etc., right from your wrist. Because of this reason, you can always have a closer look at your physical and mental health with the help of Fitbit Sense.

Other Features of Fitbit Sense

  • Beautiful unisex design
  • Resting heartbeat monitoring
  • Female health tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • 20+ goal-based activity tracking(Both indoor and outdoor)
  • Automatic activity detection
  • The battery life of more than six days on a single recharge
  • Water resistance of up to 50 meters.

Pros

  • Availability of health tracking features
  • Always-on display
  • Fitbit Pay
  • In-built GPS
  • Unlimited watch faces

Cons

  • Costly
  • No B.P. monitoring
  • A few units have been recalled recently due to technical issues.

Our Verdict

Fitbit Sense is also an FDA cleated smartwatch that comes with ECG sensors. The skin temperature monitoring feature makes this smartwatch superior to other watches. Temperature monitoring is beneficial in detecting early signs of COVID-19 and flue like diseases.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Best Premium watch for Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is another FDA Approved ECG Smartwatch. It has an entirely different design than the Galaxy Watch3. 

ECG Tracking Feature

Samsung released the ECG tracking feature almost simultaneously for Galaxy Watch Active2 and Watch3. Both the devices are using similar technologies for ECG recording. As a result, you can expect an accurate ECG reading in this device as well. 

Beside ECG monitoring, it also has blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring feature, but the FDA does not yet approve it. Still, you can expect an accurate reading of your SpO2 and B.P.

How to measure ECG in Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

To take an ECG without error, you should not do any physical exertion for at least 10 minutes before taking an ECG. After finding a calm and quiet environment, follow the steps below.

  • Sit on a chair by keeping your hands on the table.
  • Open the ECG/EKG app
  • Now gently touch the button on the right-hand side of the watch(Upper button)
  • Continue touching on the button for 30 seconds (Check on-screen count down)

After 30 seconds, the device will display the ECG result on the screen. The possible results are the same as explained earlier for Samsung Galaxy Watch3. After taking ECG, you can send it to your doctor or health care professionals for a closer look into it.

In addition to ECG, B.P. monitoring, and SpO2, it also offers many other important health tracking features such as sleep tracking, calorie tracking, and much more. If you go for Galaxy Watch Active2, you can get almost every feature of Galaxy Watch3 at a lesser price.

Other Features

  • It has a non-bulky and attractive design.
  • Digital Bezel: It comes with a digital bezel, unlike a metal bezel in Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch3
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Sleep: It can give you in-depth and valuable insights into your sleep data.
  • Fall detection: It is the same as the incident detection feature in Galaxy Watch3
  • Irregular heart rate notifications: It can detect irregular heartbeats and alert you with notifications.
  • Stress tracking
  • Built-in music storage and Spotify playlist download
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Allows you to make and receive phone calls without a smartphone(LTE model)

Pros

  • Beautiful design and look.
  • Built-in GPS
  • The battery life of up to 24 hours
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Availability of cellular model

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some features are limited when used with Apple devices.

Our Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 can have a closer look at your overall health and wellness, especially heart health. The blood pressure monitoring and SpO2 monitoring make this smartwatch one of the best alternatives to Apple Watch 6 and 5.

Apple Watch Series 4: Best Premium Watch with ECG for Apple Phone

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch 4 is the first EKG watch ever approved by the FDA. The Apple Watch 4 was released in 2018, and it comes with many health tracking and fitness tracking features such as heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, activity detection, etc.

ECG monitoring Feature in Apple Watch 4

The EKG tracking feature in Apple Watch 4 is similar to other Apple watches that we already discussed here. The steps to take EKG in every Apple wearable is the same, and we have already discussed it.

Even though it is an old model, it has saved many peoples lives by detecting irregular heartbeats and abnormal heart rhythms. In addition to fitness tracking features, this premium activity tracking watch comes with many features and functionalities.

Features

  • Durable design
  • FDA cleared ECG sensors
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Continuous heart rate monitoring
  • 18 hours of battery life
  • Get real-time heart rate data on the wrist on the go.
  • Fall Detection and Emergency SOS features
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Indoor and outdoor activity tracking features
  • LTE feature available

Pros

  • Metallic premium design.
  • Advanced heart rate monitors
  • Built-in Music storage
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Built-in GPS

Cons

  • Do not work with Android
  • Expensive

Our Verdict

Apple Watch 5 is one of the best smartwatches that come with many advanced features, including an FDA cleared EKG App. If you are looking for a cheap smartwatch with EKG for your Apple watch, this is one of the best smartwatches you can still buy in 2021.

AliveCor KardiaMobile Personal EKG: Best Portable ECG Monitor

AliveCor KardiaMobile Personal EKG

AliveCor KardiaMobile is another FDA approved portable ECG tracking device in 2021. As it has a smaller size, you can carry this device anywhere you go.

This tiny device can take 6-lead ECG, and it can give more details about you hear condition including Arterial Fibrillation, normal heart rhythm, Tachycardia, and Bradycardia.

Taking an EKG in Alivecor KardiaMobile 6L is very easy. Here are the simple steps to take an ECG on this tiny device.

  • Relax and sit on a chair.
  • Open Kardia App on your phone. You can download the Kardia App from Google Play Store or Android Play store for free.
  • Now keep your fingers on the designated area for 30 seconds to get your ECG(No frustrating jellies or multiple electrodes as with traditional ECG equipment)
  • Done

You can send your ECG for a Cardiologist’s review from Alivecor itself. But it cost you a monthly fee of $9.99. But I do not think that you require this service as this device allows you to share your ECG with your doctor by email from the app itself.

Pros

  • Convenient and easy to use
  • 6-lead ECG(so you get more details)
  • More accurate
  • Longer battery backup
  • Compatible with iOS and Android

Cons

  • Limited features compared with smartwatches
  • No activity tracking features
  • Premium subscription cost you money

Our Verdict

If you are looking for a non-wearable portable EKG monitor, the AliveCor KardiaMobile 6L is the right choice for you. As it provides 6-lead ECG, it can provide more in-depth and accurate data about your heart health.

Before we conclude, let’s have a quick look into some frequently asked questions related to ECG Smartwatches.

What is Electro Cardiogram(ECG or EKG)?

ECG is a painless procedure done by attaching ten cables to your body. ECG is performed to detect various cardiac diseases such as heart attack, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, coronary heart disease, heart block, etc. For an accurate reading, an ECG must be done by a trained nurse or doctor.

How does it work?

Our heart pumps blood as a result of electrical activity occurred within the heart. A small amount of this electrical impulse is being sent to the skin as well. An ECG Machine/device can detect, measure, and interpret this electrical activity with the help of electrodes attached to the body.

There will be some variations in the heart rhythm in case of heart disease, and a Doctor can easily detect it from the ECG.

Hospitals use advanced ECG machines to take 12 lead ECG, and it can detect severe heart conditions like cardiac arrest, heart failure, etc. A standard EKG machine has ten electrodes. Six electrodes are attached to the chest, and the other four electrodes are attached to each limb to take an Electrocardiogram.

How Smartwatches with ECG works?

ECG or EKG is the most effective test to diagnose any cardiac diseases. A smartwatch with ECG can not detect a cardiac arrest. However, it can still detect Atrial Fibrillation and irregular heart rhythms, and it could be early signs of cardiac arrest or stroke. You must seek immediate medical help in case your smartwatch alert you with any of these symptoms.

Wearable devices like EKG smartwatches can take only a single-lead ECG, and it can not detect serious heart conditions like a heart attack. By analyzing ECG, smartwatches can give you the following data;

  • Sinus Rhythm A sinus rhythm means that your heart is working normally.
  • Atrial Fibrillation: Atrial Fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm, and it can lead to a heart attack, blood clots, stroke, etc., if not treated on time. In case your ECG watch alerts you with atrial fibrillation, immediately call the emergency service for medical help.
  • Irregular Heart Rate: A smartwatch can not take your ECG if your heart rate is below 50beats/minutes or above 120 beats/minutes.
  • Inconclusive: It means that your smartwatch can not detect your heart rhythm due to multiple reasons such as an elevated or decreased heartbeats, presence of a pacemaker, ICD(Chet Tube), etc.

EKG smartwatches do not detect a cardiac arrest, or it does not replace any medical device. You must always follow the advice of your doctor for better health.

How accurate is Smartwatch ECG?

ECG Smartwatches are the most convenient way to take an ECG at home. As it does not have any wires or leads, it allows you to take an ECG whenever and wherever you want. Many studies have been conducted on wearable ECG devices’ accuracy and found that they are moderately accurate.

Apple claims that its wearable ECG devices can take an ECG 99% accurately. It has already saved many people’s lives by detecting and notifying irregular heart rate and atrial fibrillation. You can read a few such stories published in the CNET.

Final Verdict

All the ECG smartwatches discussed here can help you monitor your ECG at home. Even though it does not replace medical equipment or medical advice, it can alert you with some abnormal heart issues like an Afib and irregular heart rate.

If you are an iPhone user, then FDA Approved ECG wearable devices such as Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 4 will be the right pick for you as it seamlessly connects with iPhones.

If you are an Android Smartphone user, then Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung Galaxy Active 2, and Fitbit Sense would be a great option.

AliveCor KardiaMobile Personal EKG and SonoHealth Portable EKG Heart Rate Monitor are also good if you’re planning to go with a portable ECG monitor.

I hope this has helped you choose the right wearable ECG device for you. If you need any further assistance in selecting a wireless ECG monitors or have other queries, please feel free to comment below.

Disclaimer

It is to be noted that non-FDA approved ECG/EKG smartwatches or monitors cannot and should not be used for medical usage. These devices only give you a bird’s eye view of your heart rate activity, but if you are looking for some equipment to use the data for health purposes, it is advised to buy only FDA approved devices. 

Saneesh VS is a Registred Nurse By Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion.

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