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Can Apple watch genuinely detect heart problem?

Expert says, more research needs to be carried on.

It is told that people who wear Apple watch can get an early signal if they are having heart problems. But the latest studies say, further research is needed to determine how accurately Apple watch can do the initial screening.

To carry on research, whether Apple watch can detect the problem of atrial fibrillation that is a condition that can trigger strokes in the future if left untreated. More than 419,000 Apple watch users participated in the study. This is supposed to be one of the largest screening performed for determining the reliability of Apple watch, on how good they are to identify the hidden heart problem of a healthy man.

According to the research carried out by Stanford University, the watch only showed the result of around 2100 people, who might be having the heart problem. But, those who were flagged didn’t receive the exact result, stated by a cardiologist, Dr Richard Kovacs who is from the American College of Cardiology.

The research stated, people on receiving the alert message required to contact a study doctor for telephonic advice and then accordingly needed to wear EKG patches for measuring the heartbeat rate for the next continued weak, for accurately determining the performance of the watch.

Where many skipped taking virtual advice and decided to consult their private doctors, on an average around 57 % took medical advice. Those who wore EKG patches, one-third of them suffered from atrial fibrillation. This study result was presented at the American College of Cardiology conference held in New Orleans.

According to Stanford Lead Researcher, Dr Mintu Turakhia, since a fib has the tendency to come and go, they might have missed some cases but among those who wore the EKG patch, most of the times whatever the watch detected as actually a fib.

How is the watch checking the heartbeat disorder?

The optical sensor within the mobile app is capable of analyzing the pulse rate of people wearing the watch. Whenever the sensor detects any variation within the heartbeat rate over a period of 48 hours, it sends an alert message to its user.

The recent Apple watch launched also allows its users to press a button for taking EKG so that they can share the reading with their consulting doctors. However, the research that was carried on didn’t include this new feature.

It is good to have a watch of such kind, but only dependability on the watch is not sufficient. Study shows, even if the watch gave an alert about heartbeat disorder, it is essential to go for additional monitoring and the watch needs to go through further research works.