I’m finally old enough, checking out the ECG feature on Apple Watch

Wrist with Apple watch displaying ECG feature

by David Redmond

Last week I turned 22 years old. I could have gone to the pub, but I didn’t. I could have gone on an extravagant holiday, but I didn’t. I could have demanded the day off and forced the team to find a temporary podcast host, but guess what, I didn’t. I don’t want to get fired now do I? So what did I do on this totally insignificant birthday? I checked my heart health with my Apple Watch, before you judge me, let me explain.

I love trying cool tech, and for me the ability to do an ECG on your Apple Watch is kind of cool. The only problem is that the watch won’t let you do it until you’re 22. That’s why on my 22nd birthday I was all excited to check my heart health. Does that bring my social life into serious question? Yes, but do I care? No.

Setting things up

The first step is setting things up in the Health app on iPhone. You confirm your age, go through explanations of the feature, and before you know it, you’re ready to go.

It’s all very accessible with VoiceOver, so you shouldn’t have any issues with it.

Taking a reading

Then comes the fun part, taking a reading. When you open the app on your Apple Watch you’ll be prompted to place and hold your finger on the Digital Crown. I’d recommend a 2-finger double tap to turn on live audio, which gives you live audio feedback as you take your reading. Once you’re ready, place your finger on the crown and let the watch do its thing. You don’t need to press the crown, just hold your finger on it.

The process takes 30 seconds, and results show up on screen when everything’s done. You can flick through everything on the Apple Watch using Voiceover, or you can use the equally accessible health app on your iPhone.

In general, how accessible is it?

It’s all really accessible. I’d recommend turning on live audio so that you’re not left in silence while the watch does its thing, but really it’s accessible out of the box.

Like many things on Apple Watch it’s going to be a bit difficult to see for those with low vision, but feel free to give it a try. If you struggle don’t be afraid to give Voiceover a shot as it might make your life easier.


In general, I think this is a great feature. It’s important to note that the feature can’t detect heart attacks or stroke, but it does what it’s designed to do very well. The ability to check stuff like this on Apple Watch is great to see, and hopefully technology like this will help keep us healthy going forward.

Apple Watch ECG Demo

Check out David’s ECG demo on the Apple Watch: