Today, Garmin is rolling out FDA-cleared ECG functionality for the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch with a new ECG app allowing you to take on-demand readings to check for signs of AFib or atrial fibrulation. This functionality comes via a software update to the Venu 2 Plus along with their Garmin Connect smartphone app for users in the U.S.
As of launch, the new ECG functionality is only available in the U.S. since it’s received regulatory clearance by the FDA but they have plans to launch it in other regions once the devices and functionality get the necessary regulatory approval in those regions.
The Venu 2 Plus will be the only current wearable in Garmin’s lineup to get this feature via software update as it already has the hardware built-in for this functionality and then some wearables in the future may also get this feature.
To enable this feature on your Garmin Venu 2 Plus, make sure to be on the latest software versions for both your Venu 2 Plus as well as Garmin Connect on your smartphone. You want to have at least version 4.62 of the Garmin Connect smartphone app and then at least version 11.21 on your Garmin Venu 2 Plus.
In Garmin Connect, head over to your device settings and click on Finish Setup and Setup ECG App. It goes through a quick explainer of how this works and what it does and does not do, as well as some help on how to actually interpret the results that you may get.
An important note is that this new ECG app can’t detect heart attacks, it can’t detect blood clots or strokes, and it can’t detect high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and some other conditions.
Once this process is complete on Garmin Connect, you should now have an option to take an ECG reading on your Venu 2 Plus which can be accessed through the Activity list using the upper right hand button.
To take the reading, you want to wear your watch slightly above the wristbone and also ensure you’re wearing your watch on the same wrist in which you have set up in the watch settings. From there, you want to rest your arm on a flat surface like a table, sit comfortably and still, and place your thumb and index finger from your opposite hand on the metal ring around the watch face. From here, the reading takes about 30 seconds and once it’s done it will show the results on the watch itself and the information can also be synced over to Garmin Connect to keep a log of this data under your Health Stats. In addition, you can export your data in PDF format to provide to your health care professional for further analysis.
This functionality builds upon the already-wide portfolio of sports and fitness features Garmin has been known for with expanded health functionality that will certainly appeal to an even broader audience.