- An inconclusive reading on a Fitbit ECG isn't always cause for concern.
- There are both medical and non-medical reasons for an inconclusive result from Fitbit's ECG app.
- Human experts on QALY can help decipher your Inconclusive ECG result.
While Fitbit’s ECG feature is a great way to catch heart issues like atrial fibrillation without going to a doctor's office, it has a few quirks. One of the most confusing things is receiving an Inconclusive result on your ECG reading. Before getting alarmed that something's wrong with your heart, here’s what Inconclusive means and what to do next.
Is Your Fitbit ECG Accurate?
While taking an ECG with your Fitbit isn't as involved as going to a doctor's office and having a bunch of wires hooked up to you, it's surprisingly accurate. The main goal of the ECG feature is to detect atrial fibrillation, which it's been able to do with 98% accuracy. For all the good it does, however, here are some conditions your Fitbit won't be able to warn you about.
- Heart attacks
- Different types of tachycardia and bradycardia
- 30+ different heart arrhythmias
Essentially, your Fitbit can tell you your heart rate, and if you have Afib or normal sinus rhythm. You'll have to read your own ECG report and decipher the results to determine anything more.
Possible Reasons for an Inconclusive Result on Your Fitbit ECG
There are three possible reasons for an Inconclusive Fitbit ECG result.
Inconclusive Because of High Heart Rate
If your heart rate is higher than 120 while taking an ECG reading, the result will be inconclusive. Here are some possible reasons for a high heart rate.
- Recent exercise
- Afib or other arrhythmias
- You recently took drugs or medications
Inconclusive Because of Low Heart Rate
If your heart rate is lower than 50 while taking an ECG reading, you'll also get an inconclusive result. Here are a few reasons for a low heart rate.
- You recently took medications or drugs that slow your heart rate
- You're in great shape and have a naturally-low resting heart rate
- You have a form of bradycardia or other arrhythmia
Inconclusive Because of User Error
There are also a few non-health reasons why your Fitbit can give an inconclusive result.
- Your arms weren't resting on a table or solid surface
- You were moving around
- You're wearing the Fitbit too loose around your wrist
- Possible interference from nearby electrical devices or appliances
- You're wearing the Fitbit on the wrong wrist
Arrhythmias That Aren't Detectable With a Fitbit ECG
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why your Fitbit could be giving you an inconclusive reading. An inconclusive result because of an undetected arrhythmia is the most problematic possibility. Here are some irregular heartbeats that aren't detectable with a Fitbit.
- Premature Atrial Contraction (PAC) - Single, multiple, bigeminy, trigeminy, or couplet
- Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC) - Single, multiple, bigeminy, trigeminy, or couplet
- Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm
What Does an Inconclusive Result Mean for You?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your inconclusive result, it could be cause for alarm or simply an inconvenience. Think back to how you felt when you took the ECG. If you were stressed, anxious, had recently worked out, or weren't administering the test properly, there may not be = reason for alarm.
What To Do After Getting an Inconclusive Result?
If you get an inconclusive result on your Fitbit ECG but feel perfectly fine, you should wait for several minutes and run a second test. Ensure you follow Fitbit's directions to a T to get a conclusive result. If you feel relaxed and are following Fitbit's directions but continue getting inconclusive results, you have an arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation. You should schedule a consultation with a health professional as soon as possible.
How Can QALY Help Me?
At QALY, we understand how confusing ECG results can appear to the untrained eye. If you're constantly getting inconclusive results and don't know why, you can send us a copy of your ECG, and we'll decipher it for you within minutes. Once we understand what's going on with your ECGs, we'll send you an easy-to-understand report so you can make an informed decision about what to do next.