How accurate is the heart rate of Apple Watch 4?

DennisdeWit

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 16, 2016
318
150
The Netherlands
Dear,

How accurate is the heart monitor of the Apple Watch 4? I live in the Netherlands and have no possibility to use the ECG function. I am a patient to Tietze Syndrome, that mimics heart pain issues. So far, nothing serious has happened.

However, I do have more of these Tietze issues than normal. So far, I have always ignored this pain and linked it to Tietze. The reason to start worrying, is because my Apple Watch gives abnormal rates. Yesterday I had a huge pain, took some paracetamol and went to sleep. My heart rate was 144 when I went to sleep, was 46 when I woke up.

In my perfect world my Apple Watch is not accurate and it is a software issue. So I want to know, how accurate is the heart rate really? I do realize you're not a doctor, but based on your experiences I'd like to know if it is just the Watch or not.
 

DennisdeWit

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 16, 2016
318
150
The Netherlands
In that case it depends on how snug it is on your wrist. I have slightly hairier arms than most men and it usually has me within 5 beats.
Ok. So let’s put a difference of 5 beats on it. Then it still is 138 in rest, while it should be 70 (that’s the normal rates I normally get). These weird high rest rates happen every now and then.

Also, I never had such a low heartrate with my AW either. Strange.
 

Knight3

Suspended
Oct 19, 2018
280
271
Ok. So let’s put a difference of 5 beats on it. Then it still is 138 in rest, while it should be 70 (that’s the normal rates I normally get). These weird high rest rates happen every now and then.

Also, I never had such a low heartrate with my AW either. Strange.
It fluctuates a lot depending on how close it is to your skin. The amount of hair on your arms makes the readings slightly more error prone.
 
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neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,744
234
SF Bay area
It is reported to be very good. Mine reports a very consistent value. If the strap is loose you might see odd readings. I used to have a leather strap that I wore loosely. Once in a while I’d see one very high reading. Since I’ve changed to a Milanese band which I wear snugly that doesn’t happen.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,747
10,023
It seems to be pretty accurate. My resting heart rate seems to be floating between 60-68.
 

Ntombi

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2008
3,394
1,164
Bostonian exiled in SoCal
I have medium brown skin with hardly any hair, and mine is fairly accurate, according to the machines at my various doctors’ offices. My Apple Watch heart rate and the heart rate they get is usually within two beats per minute.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,747
10,023
I’m not sure how accurate the watch is in measuring strength training though.
 

OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

Suspended
Nov 14, 2018
235
354
I am middle aged, was at the doctors about a month ago just after getting my Series 4 LTE, and it was within one beat of my doctor's equipment. I wear it on my left wrist, and am not particularly hairy, but do have hair on my arms. Seems pretty accurate to me.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,747
10,023
I’d really like to know if the heart rate works as well when one is not resting. Especially while exercising if someone has a chest strap, please can you verify the beats?
 

SadChief

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
127
67
Montpellier, France
Dear,

How accurate is the heart monitor of the Apple Watch 4? I live in the Netherlands and have no possibility to use the ECG function. I am a patient to Tietze Syndrome, that mimics heart pain issues. So far, nothing serious has happened.

However, I do have more of these Tietze issues than normal. So far, I have always ignored this pain and linked it to Tietze. The reason to start worrying, is because my Apple Watch gives abnormal rates. Yesterday I had a huge pain, took some paracetamol and went to sleep. My heart rate was 144 when I went to sleep, was 46 when I woke up.

In my perfect world my Apple Watch is not accurate and it is a software issue. So I want to know, how accurate is the heart rate really? I do realize you're not a doctor, but based on your experiences I'd like to know if it is just the Watch or not.
Please be very, very careful. Myself I had those symptoms you talk about this summer. I went to the cardiologist next morning, and the cardiologist sent me on the spot (literally) at the heart clinic (Clinique du Millénaire in Montpellier, France). The surgery took place the same day in the afternoon. I was only a few hours away from a heart attack (myocardial infarction), they said. In fact I had some narrowed coronary arteries so they unblocked them using the "stent" technique (called "angioplasty"). I have now 4 stents in my chest and feel great, like never before. More about this technique here:
https://www.healthline.com/health/stent#followup
https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/pe-abh-what-is-a-stent-ucm_300452.pdf
You can google about this clinic, one of the best in the world - highly recommended. FYI, this kind of surgery costs about 8,000 euros including the 4 stents and also 2-day stay (I have a good medical insurance as all I had to pay from my pocket was 13 euros per day, and that's only because I wanted to enjoy a private single room).
If I were you I'd consider those symptoms very seriously. My piece of advice: rush to your cardiologist.
Good luck.
(and yes, I had the opportunity to verify the heart accuracy as compared to my cardiologist instrumentation's one month later: really impressive - spot on! It was my Series 3 at that time).
 
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Kierkegaarden

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2018
111
126
USA
Dear,

How accurate is the heart monitor of the Apple Watch 4? I live in the Netherlands and have no possibility to use the ECG function. I am a patient to Tietze Syndrome, that mimics heart pain issues. So far, nothing serious has happened.

However, I do have more of these Tietze issues than normal. So far, I have always ignored this pain and linked it to Tietze. The reason to start worrying, is because my Apple Watch gives abnormal rates. Yesterday I had a huge pain, took some paracetamol and went to sleep. My heart rate was 144 when I went to sleep, was 46 when I woke up.

In my perfect world my Apple Watch is not accurate and it is a software issue. So I want to know, how accurate is the heart rate really? I do realize you're not a doctor, but based on your experiences I'd like to know if it is just the Watch or not.
Dennis, I agree with SadChief in that you should make an appointment with a cardiologist to determine what is causing your symptoms. You could even visit the clinic mentioned in France if that is easier for you. Either way, please see someone.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with these heart issues. I’m not familiar with Tietze Syndrome, but I’m sure it can cause anxiety since it mimics heart pain.

All my best to you.
 

Dobbel

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2018
30
24
Netherlands
Hi Dennis,
The Applewatch is highly accurate, compare it regularly with other sensors.

Best i can suggest you is buy the Polar H10 chest strap which measures ECG and compare with watch.
Is also best to have electrical ecg untill AW4 gets ecg in Netherlands........i’m also wating

Fred in Holland
 

DennisdeWit

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 16, 2016
318
150
The Netherlands
Thanks for all the replies!

I have called my doctor today. I will not turn this into a medical thread. The question was: are the measurements of the AW4 correct?

The answer is: yes, they are correct. The doctor confirms high heartrates are possible in my situation. He says it is caused by the Tietze’s Syndrome. The pain in my chest is very heavy due to inflammation of the cartilage of my chest. This is what Tietzes Syndrome does.

Because of this giant pain (I have a hard time standing up then, as it always gives big pain in my ribs and shoulder), my heart is stressed and raises to such high values.

The low values are normal because I went to sleep after the inflammation attack. The doctor prescribed some infection stoppers and pain killers. It should be fine after a week. However, the doctor noted down this question and told me I have to call as soon as I start feeling worse.

Tietzes Syndrome for sure is very painful. I have had several ambulances being called because it mimics heart attacks a lot.

I am glad it’s something innocent and I can turn 100 with it. And yes, the Apple Watch is accurate, so folks, if something is wrong, don’t ignore it!
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
680
228
Dear,

How accurate is the heart monitor of the Apple Watch 4? I live in the Netherlands and have no possibility to use the ECG function. I am a patient to Tietze Syndrome, that mimics heart pain issues. So far, nothing serious has happened.

However, I do have more of these Tietze issues than normal. So far, I have always ignored this pain and linked it to Tietze. The reason to start worrying, is because my Apple Watch gives abnormal rates. Yesterday I had a huge pain, took some paracetamol and went to sleep. My heart rate was 144 when I went to sleep, was 46 when I woke up.

In my perfect world my Apple Watch is not accurate and it is a software issue. So I want to know, how accurate is the heart rate really? I do realize you're not a doctor, but based on your experiences I'd like to know if it is just the Watch or not.
Well it normally measures the heartbeat every five seconds, so it should be decently accurate. For greater accuracy, however, you can put your finger on the crown while you manually take a reading using the heart app. That way you’ll be using the ECG electrodes (they do work with the heart app too even if you don’t have the ECG app) and heartbeat will be measured every second instead of every five.
 

MatthewUT44

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2015
84
211
Arizona
It’s not that accurate for me. Even worse in the cold weather. Mine didn’t want to work when I ran in 25 degree weather in the winter
 
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