Two decades ago, if you wanted to monitor your blood pressure, get tested for sleep apnea, or even track your health and fitness goals, you probably had to go to the doctor. Now, the smart watch revolution is upon us, and all that data, which can keep you healthy and safe, is available with a flick of your wrist. Amazing, right?
But with so many health-monitoring devices on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? That's where we come in. At Asurion, we take care of you and your tech, whether you're looking for help choosing the best watch for your health or trying to protect your favorite home tech. Here's our guide to the best smart watch for health monitoring.
Best all-around smart watches to monitor your health
The best watch for health monitoring is the one that offers the most important features for you. Your top priorities—fitness progress, weight loss, heart health, stress management, better sleep—should inform the smart watch you wear. And it's OK to love the way your watch looks and feels. If you prefer a large screen, the Apple Watch Ultra™ features a large 49mm screen. And the Google Pixel® Watch is designed with a round, customizable face with many band options.
You'll also want a smart watch that has a compatible app, so you can view your data on your mobile devices. . This way, you can get updates about your heart rate, activity level, Electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, which check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity, and even your blood oxygen and stress levels.
So, if you have an iPhone®, consider pairing it with an Apple Watch® 8. If you have a Samsung Galaxy® smartphone, you'll get the best results by pairing it with a Samsung Galaxy™ Watch 5.
Top smart watches for heart rate monitoring
Most smart watches and activity trackers offer basic heart rate monitoring. This feature can help you tailor your workout to meet your fitness goals—whether you want to lose weight or improve overall heart health. Heart rate monitoring can also help you manage chronic conditions like arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation.
If you want more advanced heart rate tracking, look for a smart watch like the Garmin® Venu 2 Plus or the Withings ScanWatch®. Both sample your heart rate multiple times per second and alert you when your beats per minute are too high or too low. That can be useful for people who have high blood pressure, are watching out for an accelerated heart rate (tachycardia), or are worried about their heart beating too slowly (bradycardia).
Best smart watches for taking ECG tests
Devices like the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 come with built-in electrical heart sensors that let you take an ECG, a painless test used to quickly monitor your heart's health, right from your watch. This saves you an expensive, time-consuming trip to the doctor and gives you peace of mind.
You'll need to download the compatible ECG app, and then, while wearing your watch, open the app for a quick, approximately 30-second reading. Your watch will send the results to the smartphone you've paired with it.
Regardless of the results, if you aren't feeling well or are experiencing any symptoms, call your doctor right away.
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Top smart watches to check your blood pressure
If you want to stay on top of your health, it's important to regularly check your blood pressure, which is a key indicator of risk for heart attack and stroke. Now, you can do it right from your smart watch.
If you calibrate your device with a traditional blood pressure monitor (the kind that uses a cuff attached to your upper arm), then models like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 can take your blood pressure using built-in sensors.
Meanwhile, the BP Doctor Pro from WearWiz comes equipped with its own inflatable cuff built into the watch strap and shows a digital reading of your blood pressure on the screen within a few seconds, making it one of the best smart watches for your health.
Top smart watches to track your sleep
Need a good night's sleep? Look for a watch with built-in sleep tracking. One option: The Fitbit® Sense 2, which breaks down your sleep data each month and pinpoints how you can improve it.
Another option: The Apple Watch (the SE, Ultra, Series 3, or newer versions). It comes with its own app that lets you set your bedtime schedule and find out how well you slept by recording your movements, your heart rate, and other data. It'll even check your sleep trends over the past 14 days.
Top smart watches for detecting falls
The technology isn't perfect, but some smart watches can now detect when you fall, and automatically call emergency services, which might save your life. Typically, watches with this feature will buzz and sound an alarm to warn you that a call is being placed to 911, and you'll have to cancel if it's a false alarm.
Watches offering fall detection in their 2023 models include the Google Pixel Watch, the Apple Watch Ultra, and the Garmin Forerunner 45S.
Top smart watches to track your fitness
Health-monitoring watches, along with simple fitness trackers, have come a long way from simply counting steps and otherwise motivating you to workout. Now these devices have a wide range of features, from sturdy, waterproof watch cases to built-in GPS and powerful Wi-Fi.
If monitoring your activity is your focus, look for a watch with a built-in fitness tracker, like the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar or the Garmin Vivoactive 4.
If you like to exercise for long stretches—think running and hiking—look for a smart watch with long battery life like the Amazfit® T-Rex smart watch, which can run for 40 hours when you're not using GPS, or the Apple Watch Ultra, which lasts up to 36 hours on a single charge.
Top smart watches to track your menstrual cycle
For women who want to track or predict their menstrual cycles, check out a smart watch like the Apple Watch Series 8. It features Cycle Tracking, as well as a skin sensor to track body temperature changes and predict ovulation. You can also get period reminders and fertility predictions on Garmin watches like the Venu that comes with a menstrual cycle tracking widget.
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