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Garmin just added ECG support to more of its smartwatches

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus received ECG capability in January and now more watches can help you record an ECG.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Garmin ECG app on Epix Pro
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Electrocardiogram (ECG) support from the wrist is present on many modern smartwatches today and this capability is expanding to GPS sports watches. Taking an ECG reading on your wearable captures a 30-second reading of your heart rhythm, which could indicate possible atrial fibrillation (AFib).

The ECG app functionality on Garmin's watches has been FDA-cleared and clinically validated, so the readings are a solid foundation for gathering data to share with your health care provider. The Garmin Connect ecosystem lets you view past recordings and even creates a report of your ECG history that you can send along as a PDF.

Also: The best Garmin watches

With support for other medical devices, like the Garmin Index blood pressure monitor, Garmin provides a comprehensive platform for recording and sharing key health and wellness data. Garmin scales also capture your weight, BMI, and other data.

The ECG app is now available for the Venu 3 series, Epix Pro, Fenix 7 Pro, and Tactix 7 devices. Due to the need for specific sensors around the watch face that help make the connection for an ECG reading, current Garmin watch support is limited to these models.

Garmin ECG app on Epix Pro on a wrist
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The first time that you launch or set up the ECG app, the smartphone software will walk you through all of the details of what is captured and demonstrate the process. After that first reading, the ECG app will appear as one of your activities on your watch, so you can take a reading whenever you desire.

Also: This Garmin smartwatch convinced my daughter to switch over from Fitbit

When you launch the ECG app, you will be directed to place your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of the metal ring around the glass watch face and hold still for 30 seconds. I have a resting heart rate in the mid-40s, so I often see an inconclusive result when taking an ECG reading. A heart rate above 50 bpm is required to capture an ECG reading, so I just end up walking around a bit and then taking a reading.

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