The researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have reported that wearable device can safely detect irregularities in heart rate. This study was presented by the researchers on March 16, 2019.
This study is an important step towards wearable healthcare devices. The researchers have presented preliminary results of the Apple Heart Study.
The irregular heart rate is known to be a leading cause of stroke in people in the United States. This study was an unprecedented virtual study in which over 400,000 Apple watch users were enrolled.
During the research, the recordings of the Apple watch helped to analyze the users for their irregular heartbeats which is called atrial fibrillation. Among all the participants, about 2100 participants received the warning signal by the watch for having an irregular heartbeat.
The participants were then examined for a detailed ECG study by the team of researchers to understand their arrhythmias. According to that study, around 34 % of these participants were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
To analyze the pulse data, the Apple watch uses an optical sensor. After sensing the difference in heart rate for over 48 hours, a warning signal is sent to the user about their irregular heart rate. The device has a push button which takes an ECG and the user can share its readings with the doctor.
Lloyd Minor, the dean of Stanford’s medical school said, “The results of the Apple Heart Study highlight the potential role that innovative digital technology can play in creating more predictive and preventive health care.”
Stanford principal investigator and associate professor of cardiovascular medicine Marco Perez said, “The performance and accuracy we observed in this study provides important information as we seek to understand the potential impact of wearable technology on the health system."
The results of the study were presented at the Annual Scientific Session and Expo. Though the doctors are unsure about the reliability of these devices, it is advised to the users to consult their doctors once. In fact, some experts show their concerns about the false results given by these devices.
One of the authors of the study has said that the information from the study can be used by physicians. The data can be combined with the assessment results of the doctors to guide their patients.
It has been said that such cases of atrial fibrillation come and go but the missed cases can go wrong if not continually monitored.