According to a comprehensive study, the Apple Watch may detect an irregular heartbeat – but experts say more work is needed to determine whether using wearable technology for heart problems is really helpful.
Over 419,000 Apple Watch users signed up The study, which was funded by Apple, is the largest that has ever been able to screen seemingly healthy people for atrial fibrillation (A-fib). This is a condition that can eventually lead to strokes when left untreated.
Stanford University researchers reported Saturday that the watch warned only 0.5% of participants ̵
Even among the respondents, the diagnosis of the watch was "not perfect," Dr. Richard Kovacs from the American College of Cardiology, who was not involved in the AI study.
People who received a warning should consult a medical examiner by telemedicine and then wear an ECG patch to measure heart activity for the next week. Some have skipped the virtual check to consult their own doctors. Overall, about 57% sought medical help.
Among those who received the ECG monitoring by the study had a third atrial fibrillation, according to preliminary results, which were presented at a conference of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
A-fib tends to come and go, and a week of monitoring may have missed some cases, said Stanford research scientist dr. Mintu Turakhia. However, if the watch detected another irregular heartbeat while someone wore the ECG patch, that was 84% of the time it actually was a-fib.
"This study, in our opinion, provides very encouraging evidence that a device, the Apple Watch, is a device that can be used to detect a-fib and to alert people that additional monitoring or testing is required." said Dr. Lloyd Minor, Stanford's Dean of Medicine.
Other heart experts said that the study proposes portable technology screening that is ultimately technically feasible, but requires much more research.
"I would do so to the general population Do not recommend, "said Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart New York and former president of the American Heart Association not involved in the study.
Instead, he wants him to be tested in seniors with risk factors such as high blood pressure.