Garmin gets ECG Patent – showing how it works and indicates which current models get ECG

Garmin Fenix 7 24x7 hr
24×7 HR Trend Info Shown – NOT ECG

Garmin is Granted ECG Patent

Many thanks to @Le_Chamoix for adding to Garmin’s unfolding ECG story. There is overwhelming evidence that ECG will hit Garmin owners’ wrists sooner rather than later.

Must Read: Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Review

Here is the story so far.

  1. Garmin works on ECG validation studies – More: here and here (2021).
  2. Garmin gets ECG Patent approval – More: here
  3. Garmin leak shows new ECG-related functional is already in Garmin Connect – More: here
  4. In March 2022 dcraimaker reported he found a since removed ECG diagnostic screen in his Garmin Venu 2 (a watch released in June 2021)
Image: dcrainmaker

Latest: Garmin will introduce its first QI charged Watch by the end of February (probably next week)

If you read the patent approval, you might find more nuances than I spotted. However, what I did find was that the ECG functionality works by forming an electrical circuit from the rear of the watch through your arms and body to EITHER the button or bezel of the watch. That fits in with what I claimed some months ago that the newer Fenix-style bezels were ECG-compatible but it also ties in with the leaked instructions in Connect (earlier this week) that indicated that the BEZEL was used to form the circuit. so, I was kinda wrong but might be proved right in the future ;-). We’ll see.

Garmin Fenix 7
Fenix 7 – note the ECG button 😉

Q: Will my watch get it?

A: I have a good crystal ball…but not that good. Your watch must have a metal bezel and/or a fancy new start button type (as shown above). But even then I suspect only the existing generation of watches will get it ie Garmin Fenix 7 and not Fenix 6. Garmin Forerunner 955 cannot have it as it has a polymer bezel…the bezel or start button MUST be metal.


Caveats and other points:

  • This is a relatively recent patent (Jun 2022). It may or may not indicate the precise tech that it first use to produce ECG results
  • If you read some of the detailed claims of the patent, you will see it also mentions working with LTE hardware features.


Here is some more ECG-related Garmin info.


Garmin ready for ECG releases



Garmin Elevate 4 to get ECG and AFib – soon?

Garmin get QI Charging – totally new Garmin HARDWARE feature on leaked Vivomove Trend

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26 thoughts on “Garmin gets ECG Patent – showing how it works and indicates which current models get ECG

  1. So the f7/epix2 start button has another function?
    Do you have any idea which it could be?

      1. If it’s not different because it should be used to enable ECG. It’s different for another reason.
        I don’t know if I explained fine.
        I thought that the reason for the f7/epix2 start button to be different from the other models was the ECG function but if I have understood well you must touch the bezel to get an ECG reading.

      2. hi
        the patent seems to say it’s EITHER to touch the METAL bezel or start button
        The Garmin Conenct ECG leak says it’s only to touch the bezel (that explanation might be incomplete and/or button compatibility might come later or in certain models)

      3. I think, that button touch for ECG is bad idea, because You can easily do a short circuit (right hand finger to left hand wrist). The bezel seems more realistic for me :-).

    1. This is just a guess by TFK but the patent shows us a possible ECG reading with it. This patent is not only for the current range but also for future models.

      1. I thought the same.
        The tear down is interesting but the Author has a lot of believes. Also he himself writesthat he didn’t identify a lot of chips and sensors.
        But it’s a nice inside view of the watch.

    1. Garmin is a company niche to most people, so less people use it compared to other mainstream smart watches. Also a company running a close system, closed software. Thus two, makes it harder to understand what and how it does, and predict what it’ll do.

      Yeah, in the teardown it doesn’t seem to have a specific hardware for sensing ECG. However, if you look at that patent file it seems it has most of the hardware to do the job. So why not all? The watch in the teardown is still used and in good condition. Diving deeper like removing the battery etc. could have given more and different info. Who knows what resides inside the HR module? Peeling the bezel etc. could have given some other info.

      Garmin started using a newer CPU platform after many years and it has better version of almost everything inside the previously used CPU’s and those can be used to process ECG. Better DSP and accelerators to process signals, ADC to digitise analog ECG signals. It doesn’t seem it has a special contact for start button but it has lots of contact points on bezel just like drawn in the patent file. There are unlabelled ICs or ones with unknown functions. So some engineer in Garmin may be using that ECG function at the moment. Who knows? Aah, Fenix 6 motherboard had a pin to back plate and many connection points on bezel. Maybe even it can do it someway. However, as Garmin decides what it wants its watch to do, we can’t know…

      Even if Fenix 7 series support ECG reading, I’m not sure Garmin will release the ECG functionality via a software update in Fenix 7 series. I think, it may release it with a semi version like Fenix 7 Plus or sth. like that. That means people buys a newer hardware where Garmin can earn money. 🙂

  2. Doesn’t the Coros line already have this function? I have it on my Vertix 2 under the name HRV. It’s OK but frankly I already know when my stress level is elevated. I don’t really need a machine to quantify it. I wouldn’t get too excited about the feature. It’s just more hype.

    1. ECG is a method of obtaining heart rate data, HRV is a statistic, the 2 things are not comparable. HRV on your watch currently is heart rate variability based on heartbeat detection using transmission of light through your skin, ECG uses electrical impulses and is more accurate. HRV using the light sensor is already on the Epix 2 & Fenix 7.

      1. yes. RR is the statistic that measure the time from one beat to the next. HRV is an umbrella terms for a variety of mathematical calculations based on RR. one of the most commonly used calculations for HRV is rMSSD, another which Apple uses is SDNN. rmssd is the one that pretty much everyone uses and its been that way for over 10 years on the whole are a company that have an ecg-in-sport monitor.
        you might think “so what” (and you’d be right to!!) however fourth frontier claim to be able to ascertain various cardiac strain measurements which they claim to be useful to sports people

        so ecg can possibly have a use for the sporty types that tend to visit this site.

  3. How in the world can this be possible when the wrist heart rate is so off at times from a HR monitor?? The 7 is my 3rd and all are off by lots at times (7 being the best yet ). I’ve contacted support and tried everything they recommend but ultimately take all data collected from it ( without chest strap) with a grain of salt.

    1. hi
      good point but it comes from a separate sensor mode entirely. a single electric circuit (I-Lead) is formed from the Great of the watch through your arms and body to the bezel/button. while you are sitting you take a one off reading.
      i guess it should be vaguely accurate (but mostly useless)

  4. I was wondering about this as I have a 955 solar so I took a peek and this might be wishful thinking but I noticed that my start button is made of a different metal looking material than every other button. Would strike me as potentially a large enough surface given how the AW works. Would be very odd not to include at this price point, but we know they’re not always treating the 955 as a Fenix 7P.

    1. hi
      i dont think it odd tho. ECG is more of a wellness feature not a sports feature. the 955 is a sports watch. fenix should get it, but fenix gets everything

    1. it has a metal bezel, so it could.
      i think the tactic tends to have to wait longer for updates and that might indicate it’s lack of importance to garmin. so it might not get such an upgrade even if it were technically possible

  5. The 955 start/stop button has two different metals. It’s the only button that has a silver colour in the middle. Maybe they thought ahead so that it could be included in the update down the road?

  6. Just tried to enter service mode on F7 with 11.20 alpha FW to see, if they happen to be testing ecg support. But I can´t enter the service menu anymore. On first two attempts the watch beeps threetimes, but boots normally. Maybe they changed the combination of buttons? Maybe because of new ECG function in service menu like on Venu 2?

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