By now, you’re probably familiar with the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature of your Apple Watch Series 4. But did you know the built-in electrodes that enable that feature can also improve heart rate readings? Here’s how.
How to Get a Faster Heart Rate Reading on the Apple Watch Series 4 Using the Digital Crown
On your Apple Watch Series 4 running the latest software update, launch the Heart Rate app and then place your finger on the Digital Crown, just like you do when performing an ECG. This allows the Heart Rate app to switch from using the LED’s on the back of your Watch to using the electrodes in the electrical heart rate sensor behind the watch and in the Digital Crown.
Apple says placing your finger on the Digital Crown while capturing your heart rate reading measures faster and more accurately, as it updates the measurement once per second instead of the usual every five seconds while measuring.
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.
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.
Although the ECG feature is currently limited to Apple Watch Series 4 models purchased in the United States, users around the globe can benefit from the built-in electrodes in the new model’s Digital Crown to speed up and improve their heart rate readings.