We have heard stories of how wearables with built-in heart rate monitors have become rather invaluable tools when it comes to informing wearers if there’s something wrong with their heart. For example we’ve heard how some wearables have picked up on irregular heart rates which pointed at an impending heart attack.
As it turns out, Apple’s own wearable the Apple Watch is particularly adept at such tasks, thanks to a study conducted by researchers over at the University of California in collaboration with Cardiogram, an app designed for the Apple Watch. In this study, it was found that the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can actually distinguish an atrial fibrillation from normal heart rhythm.
While the Apple Watch isn’t necessarily a diagnostic device, the study has found and pretty much proves that our wearables can go beyond mere tracking tools for our daily activities, and that it has the potential for it to become a health tool. In fact we’re sure that this is what Apple has envisioned as well, especially with the rumors that Apple has a secret team working on a glucose sensor for the wearable.
According to the report’s senior author Gregory M. Marcus, “Our results show that common wearable trackers like smartwatches present a novel opportunity to monitor, capture and prompt medical therapy for atrial fibrillation without any active effort from patients. While mobile technology screening won’t replace more conventional monitoring methods, it has the potential to successfully screen those at an increased risk and lower the number of undiagnosed cases of AF.”