Trust Your Apple Watch! 💔

Just a little PSA for everyone. If your Apple Watch tells you you are in afib, you most likely are and should call 911 or go see your doctor.

I transported a patient recently who just thought their watch was broken and didn’t want to listen to it. One 12 Lead ECG later showed they were in new onset afib.

Trust your watch.


Wow! That kind of gave me goosebumps. I hope they are ok.

Is this something you have to turn on, or is it on from factory?
Is it different depending on which country you are located or bought your AW at? (I think I read some year ago that Sweden and US don’t have the same settings for this, but I may be mistaken.)

I had a heart attack 2013 (10 year “anniversary” this August), and even though I am healthier than ever these days, my mind can get a little bit psyched sometimes. For example, I register double beats much easier (all people have double beats, but for normal people they are just ignored).

So, when I’m worried I take the AW EKG test. At least it calms my mind (yes, I know it’s not 100% accurate but placebo is powerful).

Nevetheless, with the medicine these days I’ll problably live til I’m 100, at least. :wink:

They are. They got the treatment they needed and were out of the ER that day.

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The “AFib History” function is only for people that have a physician diagnosis of AFib.

Also, the irregular rhythm notifications feature is turned off automatically when you set up AFib History (because it is not intended for people with AFib).

So, if you are not diagnosed with AFib, it might be better to keep the default watchOS settings?

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I’ve never had a heart attack, but I do the same, and for the same reason. I can feel those double beats and they’re terrifying sometimes, despite many doctors and tests telling me it’s perfectly normal.

The Apple Watch won’t tell you if you are having a heart attack. You need a full 12 Lead ECG, to identify what is called ST Elevation and Depression, for that and blood work. The Apple Watch will only alert you to an irregular heart rate which can be anything from afib to a minor electrolyte imbalance. I would not recommend delaying care by a physician if you are having chest pain but your Apple Watch says you are ok.


It should be on by default.

Thank you for that clarification. I was a little fast to post that but is still useful information.

No, it doesn’t. But the concern with my particular heartbeat irregularities was afib, which it does claim to identify. Definitely wouldn’t use a watch in place of the ER though.

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During and after having Covid, my Apple Watch started throwing AFIB warnings. I went to the doctor and EKG confirmed it and I’m under treatment. The EKG app on the watch is not anywhere near what the medical grade EKG at the doctor is, but it will clearly show AFIB. Don’t ignore the warnings. Untreated AFIB is a huge health risk. There is nothing to lose by going to the doctor: you will find out you don’t have AFIB or you do and you will get treatment. Then @Ben_Wah won’t have to take you to the ER!!!


Question about the watch, if you fall or get in an accident and your watch notifies 911, family, etc. what information do they give to 911? Is it a text to 911 or a phone call? I looked around trying to find the answer but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I wasn’t searching the right terms.

I’m can’t be 100% sure on the process but I know the only information dispatch gets is a location and a notification that an event happened. It usually is dispatched out like this, “Unit 1 respond to address for reports of a fall from an Apple Watch. Unknown further”

My guess is that an automated phone call is made to the closest dispatch center and gives them a location and if it’s a fall or car accident.

I can’t imagine Apple has people at a call center calling 911 every time someone’s watch goes off.

According to Apple:

When the call connects, your Apple Watch plays an audio message that informs emergency services that your Apple Watch detected a hard fall and then it shares your current location as latitude and longitude coordinates.2 If you previously turned on the Share During Emergency Call setting under your Medical ID, your Medical ID is also automatically shared with emergency services. The first time the message plays, the audio is at full volume, but then the volume is reduced so that you, or someone nearby, can talk to the responder. The message continues to play until you tap Stop Recorded Message or the call ends.


After the call ends, your watch sends a message to your emergency contacts with your location letting them know that your watch detected a hard fall and dialed emergency services. Your watch gets your emergency contacts from your Medical ID.


I bought my Apple Watch at the beginning of January and immediately started receiving the AF warnings. Contacted my doctor who got me in the same day for an ECG, this was confirmed two months later by a 24 hour ECG from my local hospital. This confirmed my AF and I’m now on medication. Very grateful for this warning as both my grandparents died at a relatively early age from a stroke.


Does anyone know, if the AfiB Warning is only functioning if you are doing an EKG, or is it also working during the normal heart rate monitoring the watch is doing throughout the day?

Background for my question, my wife is using the EKG function very rarely, but got a warning a few days ago while she used the function. The PDF shows a litte extra systole, but right at the beginning of the monitoring, and everything else looks good. Also a few other EKG she “wrote” thereafter were looking normal. I assumed that she moved the finger during the beginning of the suspicious EKG.
So, is this AfiB only working while you write an EKG, so it might be a real warning she got, or could she assume to get an notification also without actively writing an EKG, and having the “luck” of catching an AfiB during that?

Look under irregular rhythms. It also says it’s not available in all countries. Looks like you have to turn it on and it monitors you.

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I would not recommend delaying care by a physician if you are having chest pain but your Apple Watch says you are ok.

I actually had a heart attack while wearing my watch and the symptoms were so mild I was not sure at all what was going on. I am a retired physician with a nodding acquaintance with EKGs. I looked at my watch out of curiosity, and it explicitly reminded me that I should not be using it to make a diagnosis of a heart attack.

AFib is an easier thing to diagnose without multiple leads etc.


My watch had the warnings turned on straight out of the box. I had the SE aversion at the time which does not include the ECG feature. I then upgraded to the Apple Watch 8 and confirm the warnings came in thick and fast without ECG being invoked.