By Alexander Wong | 19 Comments
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As a heart doctor, my opinion is that if you think an Apple Watch is nifty, buy one. But do not buy it for your health. It will not improve your health, and it could even bring you harm.Dr. John Mandrola, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Baptist Health Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, USA
When Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 4 last month, the wearable received a great deal of coverage for being the first smartwatch to feature an electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG is essentially a heart monitor that is able to detect irregular patterns in the wearer’s heartbeat that could indicate an impending heart attack or stroke.
This is some serious tech packed in a device that sits on your wrist. Even more impressive is that the Apple Watch 4 has gotten FDA clearance to function as an ECG. The watch even received an endorsement from the President of the American Heart Association.
But a heart doctor has raised concerns that the ECG built-into the Apple Watch 4 may not be as accurate as the ECG machines used in hospitals.
AF is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that could increase your risk of stroke and other
“The first obstacle when it comes to AF screening is understanding that the vast majority of people do not have AF, but most people do have
This makes ECG accuracy a critical point.
In theory, having an ECG on your wrist appear to be a good idea, as it allows for AF early detection but in practice, the watch could flag normal or low-risk AF as a serious condition.
The accuracy of an ECG is around 90
“To put this into perspective, let’s use a round number of 1 million watch owners. We know that about 1
This will result in many people being subjected to unnecessary tests and these tests and procedures could also be harmful for the patient.
“Since all medical interventions come with risks, many people will suffer harm from unnecessary tests and
Another snag in heart rhythm screening stems from a poor understanding of AF. Despite decades of research, doctors still argue about the causes of AF and its treatments.
“The truth is that preventive health is far more complicated than identifying irregular rhythms from a watch.” He concluded in his post.
Read the full article from Doctor Mandrola here.