Track your AFib History with Apple Watch

Learn how to set up AFib History to track how frequently your heart shows signs of AFib and log life factors that can impact your condition. 

About AFib and AFib History

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of irregular heart rhythm where the upper chambers of the heart beat out of sync with the lower chambers. 

According to the CDC, approximately 2% of people younger than 65 years old and 9% of people 65 and older have AFib. Irregularities in heart rhythm become more common as people get older. Some individuals with AFib don’t experience any symptoms. Others experience symptoms that could include rapid heartbeat, palpitations, fatigue, or shortness of breath.

AFib is a chronic condition, but the amount of time people spend in AFib can change. People with AFib often live healthy, active lives. The amount of time your heart is in AFib can potentially be reduced with regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, a healthy weight, and treatment of other medical conditions that could worsen AFib. If left untreated, AFib can lead to heart failure or blood clots that may lead to stroke.

AFib History gives long-term visibility into the amount of time your heart shows signs of AFib, also known as AFib burden, so you can share this information with your physician for richer conversations.

Here's what you need

An iPhone that shows the How Afib History Works setup screen 

Set up AFib History

  1. On your iPhone, open the Health app.
  2. Tap Browse, then tap Heart.
  3. Tap AFib History.
  4. Tap Set Up, then tap Get Started.
  5. Enter your Date of Birth.
  6. Select Yes to indicate that you have been diagnosed with AFib by a doctor, then tap Continue.
  7. Tap Continue to learn more about AFib History, the results you may see, and life factors.
  8. Tap Done.

Log Life Factors

AFib History periodically checks your heart rhythm for signs of AFib. Although AFib can occur at any time, there are factors that may impact the percentage of time your heart shows signs of AFib for the previous week. AFib History looks at the following life factors that can impact the percentage your heart is in AFib:

  • Exercise Minutes
  • Sleep
  • Weight
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Mindful Minutes

If you wear your Apple Watch consistently when you workout, sleep, or meditate, your Exercise Minutes, Sleep, and Mindful Minutes are logged automatically. You can tap each life factor, then tap Log to manually log the details. You can also tap a suggested 3rd party app to download from the App Store to track each factor.

View your AFib History estimate

After gathering enough readings, every Monday you'll receive weekly alerts on your Apple Watch with the estimated percentage of time your heart showed signs of AFib from the previous week. You can also view your history in greater detail in the Health app.

An iPhone showing a sample Afib History graph with the Sleep Life Factor selected 

  1. On your iPhone, open the Health app.
  2. Tap Browse, then tap Heart.
  3. Tap AFib History. If you have AFib History saved to your Favorites, you can also access it from the Summary tab.

Your AFib History estimate appears as a percentage. A lower percentage means your heart was in AFib less often, while a higher percentage means more often. Your AFib History will never show as 0%. Instead, it will show as 2% or less.

You can also tap Show Life Factors to compare a Life Factor with your AFib History.

Share your AFib History

If you're set up to share your health data in the Health app, family and friends can receive updates on your AFib History. If you live in the United States, you can also share your AFib History automatically with enrolled healthcare providers. Learn more about how to share and view health data in the Health app.

You can also export your AFib History data to a PDF to share. From AFib History, scroll down to Options and tap Export a PDF of AFib History. Tap the Share Button to send the PDF to someone in your Contacts, save to the Files app, or AirDrop to another device.

Things you should know

  • Low Power Mode turns off background heart measurements and may lead to no AFib History estimates if enabled. Learn more about Low Power Mode.
  • Apple Watch cannot detect a heart attack or stroke. If you ever experience chest pain, pressure, tightness, or what you think is a heart attack, call emergency services immediately.
  • Apple Watch only checks for signs of atrial fibrillation periodically. AFib History may not find every instance of your irregular rhythm.
  • AFib History does not notify you when you're experiencing AFib.
  • Do not change your medication without talking to your doctor.
  • Since the irregular rhythm notifications feature is not intended for people with AFib, it is turned off automatically when you set up AFib History.
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