Garmin is well known for its reliable GPS devices, fitness trackers, and smartwatches. Because of this reason, athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike are drawn to the Garmin GPS watches. The lack of the ECG feature on Garmin watches may surprise many, especially because other popular smartwatch brands like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit offer this feature.
If you are curious about Garmin ECG, then this blog post is for you. So Do Garmin watches have ECG? Let us check!
Do Garmin watches have ECG?
Yes. Finally, Garmin has added an ECG app to its popular Venu 2 Plus model! Like other ECG watches, the Venu 2 Plus can detect Atrial Fibrillation(AFib) and alert you if Atrial Fibrillation(AFib) is detected. It takes only 30 seconds to generate an ECG report and allows you to share it with your doctor as a PDF Report. Unfortunately, Garmin ECG is available in the United States only. If you live in other countries, you must wait for Garmin to expand the feature.
Sports personnel like athletes and outdoor enthusiasts rarely use ECG because they are fit and healthy. This may be why Garmin did not prioritize ECG technology in their watches until now. Anyway, finally, they have added this feature to Venu 2 Plus!
Apart from the ECG feature, Garmin watches have other health tracking features, such as a heart rate monitor with irregular heart rate alerts, blood oxygen level monitoring(SpO2 and VO2), sleep tracking features, and stress level monitoring.
How to set up Garmin ECG App?
If you own an old Garmin Venu 2 Plus smartwatch, ensure it runs on firmware version 11.21 or later. Plus, you should also update your Garmin Connect app to the latest version (4.62 or later).
After ensuring that your watch and app are updated, follow the steps below to set up the ECG app on your watch:
- Open the Garmin Connect App and sign in to your account
- Tap on the ‘Device‘ tab at the top of the screen
- Select your Garmin watch from the list
- Now select Finish Setup > Set Up ECG App.
- Follow the simple on-screen instructions.
This is a one-time setup; you can take ECG anywhere in the USA once you are done.
How to Record ECG on Garmin Venu 2 Plus?
Here is the step-by-step guide on recording an ECG on Garmin Venu 2 Plus watch.
- Sit comfortably on a table and keep your arm on the table.
- Wear the watch on your wrist just above the wrist bone.
- Open the ECG App on your watch and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Gently place your thumb and index finger on the metal case for 30 seconds and remain still. Your ECG report will be generated and saved on your watch.
Like any other ECG wearable or smartwatch, it does not replace any medical device or advice, and it just gives you an overview of your heart rhythm or heart health. This means that even if it gives you a normal result, you should seek medical help immediately if you are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of cardiac arrest.
- Sinus Rhythm: It means that your heart rate is normal.
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFib): Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heart rhythm affecting the heart’s upper chambers. It is a common condition, affecting over 2.6- 6.1 million people in the United States alone. AFib can cause palpitations, fatigue, and breathlessness. It can also increase the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Heart Rate Too High or Too Low: The ECG app also alerts you if your heart rate goes above 120 beats per minute or below 50 beats per minute.
- Inconclusive: Sometimes, your Garmin ECG Watch may give you inconclusive results, which means it cannot detect whether your heart rhythm is normal or abnormal. In such cases, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Now let us have a look at a few reasons for Inconclusive results:
- A heart rate between 100-120bpm
- Presence of a pacemaker or implanted cardioverter device (ICD).
- Certain heart conditions.
Garmin ECG Accuracy
As per the Electrocardiogram Clinical Validation Study, the Garmin ECG watch detected an AFib 99.5% of the time. The study was conducted by recording ECG simultaneously with a 12-Lead ECG used in the hospital and analyzing both ECG reports by the experts. Therefore, you can be assured that the accuracy of Garmin ECG is up to the mark.
With that said, the Garmin ECG watch, or any other smartwatch with ECG, is just like an “over-the-counter” drug test. It does not replace medical advice and is only for general awareness and tracking purposes. You should contact your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms or doubts.
Do Garmin watches have Blood Pressure Monitoring?
No. The Garmin watches do not have a built-in blood pressure monitor, and ECG and blood pressure are the two major vital signs currently missing in Garmin watches. The upcoming flagship model, the Garmin Fenix 8, may feature ECG and blood pressure, and this helps you check your blood pressure and ECG anywhere without carrying any extra devices.
Currently, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, Galaxy Watch 3, and later variants offer Electrocardiogram(ECG) and blood pressure monitoring. However, it does not have advanced sport tracking features such as in the Fenix Series or Forerunner Series of watches.
Do you need a Garmin watch with ECG and Blood Pressure Monitoring?
Garmin watches are made for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. These people are usually fit, so it’s no surprise they don’t have ECG or BP measuring capabilities. But I think it is still good to have these features in a watch as it gives you more information about your heart and how it reacts to different activities.
Features like irregular heart rate alerts, recovery time, stress level monitoring, VO2 Max, highly accurate navigation, etc., makes the Garmin watch an excellent outdoor companion. Even though other smartwatches also offer similar features, the Garmin watch still stands out because of its reliability and durability.
Does Garmin Watch have SpO2?
Many mid-range and advanced Garmin watches come with a Pulse Ox Sensor, which is used to estimate the percentage of oxygen saturation in the blood. The normal SpO2 reading is between 95 and 100 percent. The higher the SpO2 level, the better the oxygen supply to your body.
If the SpO2 goes below 90%, you may need to see a doctor, as it could indicate a serious health condition. It is a valuable feature for hikers as it allows you to check your blood oxygen saturation level frequently. As you go to higher altitudes, the oxygen level decreases. So, keeping an eye on your SpO2 level when you hike or explore caves is essential.
Many smartwatches and fitness trackers in the market feature SpO2 levels. If you are a Garmin fan, here is a list of the best Garmin watches with SpO2 in 2022.
- Garmin Venu 2
- Garmin Forerunner 955,945, and 745
- Garmin Fenix 7, 6, and 5 Series
- Garmin Epix Gen 2
- Garmin Instinct 2
- Garmin Enduro and Enduro 2
- Garmin Vivosmart 5
In addition to SpO2, Garmin watches feature VO2 Max! It is an essential feature for sports and fitness enthusiasts. VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. A higher VO2 Max indicates better cardiovascular fitness. With regular training, you can increase your VO2 Max. A smartwatch with VO2 Max can help you closely monitor your VO2 Max and see your progress over time.
1. Why is the ECG app not available on my watch?
Ensure that you are living in a country(currently in the USA only) where the Garmin ECG app is approved and using an ECG App-compatible Garmin Watch(Garmin Venu 2 Plus).
2. Do Garmin ECG watch detect a heart attack?
No. Garmin ECG watch cannot detect the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
3. Why do my ECG waveforms appear upside down?
In this case, you may not be wearing your smartwatch on your selected wrist while setting up the ECG App. To fix this, you can change the wrist selection in your settings or wear the watch on the right wrist that you have selected while setting up the ECG App.
4. What to do if I am unable to record an ECG due to “no storage space”?
If you cannot record an ECG due to storage space, you can free up some space from your device by deleting some unwanted apps, music, or videos.
5. Which Garmin watch takes ECG?
Currently, the Venu 2 Plus is the only Garmin watch that comes with an ECG App.
6. Is Garmin ECG Approved/Cleared by the FDA?
Yes. Garmin ECG App is a clinically validated FDA-cleared device for recording electrocardiograms(ECG). It can check your heart rythem and detect atrial fibrillation (AFib) right from your wrist anywhere anytime.
The Garmin makes one of the most durable and highly accurate sport-tracking smartwatches on the market today. With the addition of the ECG feature into their smartwatches, Garmin has made it easier to monitor your heart health. We hope that Garmin will soon be able to add this feature to its flagship models, such as Fenix and Forerunner Series.
With that said, the ECG features are just for general awareness and tracking purposes and do not replace any medical advice. I hope this article on ” Do Garmin watches have ECG?” has cleared any doubts you have.
Saneesh VS is a tech and fitness lover who enjoys running and reviewing smartwatches and fitness trackers. He shares the latest industry news, useful tips, and buying guides. He stays active or spends time with his family when not writing or testing gadgets. Beyond his tech and fitness pursuits, Saneesh also brings a wealth of knowledge as a healthcare professional. Trust his well-rounded insights for all your tech and fitness needs.