Apple Watch may serve as a vital medical monitoring tool in the right circumstances. Researchers from Stanford funded by Apple have determined that the device can accurately gauge the frailty of cardiovascular disease patients while they are at home.
Apple Watch can detect cardiovascular diseases
According to MyHealthyApple, personal smartwatch use was almost as good as an in-clinic test. The scientists from Stanford collected the data using the Apple Watch Series 3 and a VascTrac app, but the third-party software won't be necessary in the future.
MacRumors reported that WatchOS 7 includes the six-minute walk test and other mobility data, and you can review your performance in the Health app on your iPhone.
The findings from the researchers hint that the Apple Watch and other smartwatches could save patients the trouble of visiting the clinic to have doctors measure their functional capacity as they could just walk around their homes, gather necessary data from their smartwatches, and come in if there are any signs of bad health.
This can help Apple continue pitching its wristwear as a health device, but it also hints at a future where the tech you already have is enough to give doctors with an abundance of useful information.
Apple Watch can detect heart problems
Researchers at the Stanford University showed the early results of the project, also known as the Apple Heart Study, during the meeting of the American College of Cardiology in 2020.
Now, in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, they report that the app's alerts matched up with electrocardiography, or ECG readings, 84% of the time.
In the study, the scientists reported results from almost 420,000 people who already owned Apple Watches and volunteered to participate.
After four days, the watch notified 0.5% of this group of potential abnormal heart rhythms. The participants were asked to contact the study team, which sent them ECG patches to wear on their chest for seven days while still using the Apple Watch app.
The Heart app on the Apple Watch can monitor heart pulse patterns and detect any abnormalities. It can indicate a condition called atrial fibrillation or AFib. The irregular heart beats characteristic of AFib could lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.
Since AFib is episodic, and it does not happen continuously, this allowed the researchers to compare when the app detected abnormal heart rhythms and when the gold-standard ECG did. They matched up around 84% of the time.
Dr. Mintu Turakhia, the director of the Stanford University Center for Digital Health and senior author of the paper, said that the findings say that the deployment of the technology was safe and could accurately identify atrial fibrillation.
That means that people using the app could be alerted to the fact that they have AFib before they have any symptoms.
The study showed a potential change toward more efficient, and less costly ways to answer certain health questions.
The study was done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the participants talking to the researchers on the phone or through video chat.
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Written by Sieeka Khan