ECG preview showing sinus rhythm

The ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later lets you check your heart for a condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib), where it beats irregularly. It works like an electrocardiogram (an ECG) you’d find in a doctor’s office.

Because of how medical devices are regulated worldwide, the ECG app isn’t available everywhere. And where it is available, updates between versions can take varying amounts of time, depending on where you are. That’s why there are two versions of the ECG app—version 1 and version 2. Let’s look at the difference between them, and how to check which version you have.

Note: The ECG app cannot detect heart attacks. If you experience any of the symptoms of one, contact your doctor.

What’s the Difference Between Version 1 and Version 2?

Version 1 and version 2 of the ECG app are similar, although there are a few differences:

  • Version 2 can check for AFib when your heart rate is between 50 and 150 bpm. Version 1 can only check for AFib when your heart rate is between 50 and 120 bpm.
  • Version 2 adds a “Poor Recording” classification for when an ECG reading is unclear because you moved, the watch is positioned wrong, or some other similar reason. Version 1 just has “Inconclusive,” which lumps together everything from heart conditions that the ECG app isn’t designed to detect to wearing your watch on the wrong wrist.
  • Version 2 has an improved, more accurate algorithm.

RELATED: What Health Conditions Can an Apple Watch Detect?

How to Check Which Version You Have

Presumably, Apple intends to roll the ECG version 2 out everywhere when it can. In the U.S., it launched with watchOS 7.2.

To check which version your watch currently has, open the Settings app, then tap “Heart,” then “ECG”.

checking ecg version on apple watch

Advertisement

You can also check it using your iPhone. Open the Health app and go to “Browse” > “Heart” > “Electrocardiograms (ECG).”

health app with heart highlighted health app with ecg highlighted

Tap “About” at the bottom of the ECG screen. The version will be displayed under the “Apple Watch” heading to the right of “Feature Version.”

about highlighted in ECG section ecg feature version highlihgted

Harry Guinness Harry Guinness
Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.