Apple Watch Series 4 embodies Apple’s most advanced, feature-packed and potentially life-saving wearable yet. It boasts a number of innovative new features, including a series of electrodes built-into its revamped Digital Crown, which enables the Apple Watch Series 4’s FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality for users in the U.S.
While these new electrodes allow U.S. Apple Watch Series 4 owners, aged 22 and up, to conduct a legitimate ECG from the convenience of their wrist, they also appear to benefit the wearable’s native heart rate functionality too!
How to Get More Accurate Heart Rate Measurements with Apple Watch Series 4
According to Apple, by placing a finger on the Apple Watch Series 4’s Digital Crown, users will be able to capture their heart rate readings “faster and with more accuracy” than with previous-generation models. This is made possible almost entirely by the ECG electrodes, which are calibrated to update every single second.
“When you place your finger on the Digital Crown, it creates a closed circuit between your heart and both arms, capturing the electrical impulses across your chest,” Apple explains.
“To use the electrical heart sensor to measure your heart rate, open the Heart Rate app and place your finger on the Digital Crown. You will get a faster reading with higher fidelity — getting a measurement every second instead of every 5 seconds.”
- To obtain the most accurate heart rate measurement with your Apple Watch Series 4, start by ensuring yours is updated to the latest watchOS 5.1.2 software build.
- Launch the Apple Watch Heart Rate app on the device.
- Then place your finger over the Digital Crown while the measurement is taking place. Using this technique, 9to5mac notes, allows the Heart Rate app to switch-off between using infrared light-based measurements (via the wrist), to using the Digital Crown’s electrodes for more accurate, by-the-second readings.
By using this method, the iPhone Health app will also be able to distinguish between the measurements being captured via the electrodes (with an ECG designation) vs traditional sedentary and workout measurements. This ultimately allows for easier identification of which measurements were captured using which method.
Though ECG readings, specifically, are exclusive to the U.S. for now, the implementation of the electrodes and their associated benefits are available to all Apple Watch Series 4 users regardless of where they live.