Heart Education
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What Ectopic Atrial Rhythm Looks Like on Your Watch ECG

QALY Team
Ectopic Atrial Rhythm on smartwatch ECG (Apple Watch, Kardia, Samsung, Fibit)

Key Takeaways

Ectopic atrial rhythms occur when the electrical impulses that control the beat of your heart’s upper heart chambers are generated in the wrong area. This results in P waves on the ECG that are different from the normal appearance of P waves. The heart rate usually remains at less than 100 beats per minute.

How to Spot Ectopic Atrial Rhythm on Your Watch ECG

The following are characteristics of ectopic atrial rhythm:

  • Rate: Normal (<100 bpm)
  • Rhythm: Irregular
  • P Wave: Premature, differ in size and shape
  • PR Interval: Variable
  • QRS: Normal (0.08-0.12 sec)

With a smartwatch single-lead ECG, you may notice early beats that cause three or more consecutive heartbeats to interrupt the underlying rhythm. It is better to visit your heart doctor for further evaluation, which includes 12 Lead ECG.

Example of Ectopic Atrial Rhythm caught on Apple Watch

Common Symptoms of Ectopic Atrial Rhythm

Ectopic atrial rhythm can happen without symptoms, especially when it happens only for short periods. However, common symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath


Any Cause for Concern?

For most people, this condition only happens for short periods. It’s not dangerous, and you shouldn’t experience any long-term problems from it. However, when it happens for long periods, it can cause problems if you wait too long to get medical care.

As always, if you show signs of a potential ectopic atrial rhythm, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to rule out the presence of harmful underlying conditions.

Still Not Sure How to Spot Ectopic Atrial Rhythm on Your Watch ECG?

Your smartwatch can be your partner in looking after your heart. If you’re concerned about ectopic atrial rhythm, get your smartwatch ECGs analyzed by experts within minutes on the QALY app: iOS and Android.

Get second opinions of your ECGs by human experts on the QALY app!

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