Using a Smartwatch to Record Precordial Electrocardiograms: A Validation Study

Joske van der Zande*, Marc Strik, Rémi Dubois, Sylvain Ploux, Saer Abu Alrub, Théo Caillol, Mathieu Nasarre, Dirk W. Donker, Eline Oppersma, Pierre Bordachar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Smartwatches that support the recording of a single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) are increasingly being used beyond the wrist, by placement on the ankle and on the chest. However, the reliability of frontal and precordial ECGs other than lead I is unknown. This clinical validation study assessed the reliability of an Apple Watch (AW) to obtain conventional frontal and precordial leads as compared to standard 12-lead ECGs in both subjects without known cardiac anomalies and patients with underlying heart disease. In 200 subjects (67% with ECG anomalies), a standard 12-lead ECG was performed, followed by AW recordings of the standard Einthoven leads (leads I, II, and III) and precordial leads V1, V3, and V6. Seven parameters (P, QRS, ST, and T-wave amplitudes, PR, QRS, and QT intervals) were compared through a Bland–Altman analysis, including the bias, absolute offset, and 95% limits of agreement. AW-ECGs recorded on the wrist but also beyond the wrist had similar durations and amplitudes compared to standard 12-lead ECGs. Significantly greater amplitudes were measured by the AW for R-waves in precordial leads V1, V3, and V6 (+0.094 mV, +0.149 mV, +0.129 mV, respectively, all p < 0.001), indicating a positive bias for the AW. AW can be used to record frontal, and precordial ECG leads, paving the way for broader clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2555
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number5
Early online date25 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Ambulatory electrocardiography
  • Apple Watch
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Mobile health
  • Reliability
  • Wearables


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