Apple Watch Accurate Enough For Remote Heart Monitoring, Says Study | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
According to a recent study, the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring is accurate enough for remote monitoring for cardiovascular disease patients.
Although the Apple Watch has been positioned as a device for active lifestyles, a new study suggests that the wearable is also accurate enough for remote heart monitoring. The finding opens up some questions about the device’s potential in the health field. It also echoes a recent effort to adopt wearables and fitness technology into more healthy-centric niches.
Wearable devices continue to become ever-more sophisticated and that’s as true in the fitness and health areas as anywhere else. Apple’s development of the Fitness+ subscription service built around the Apple Watch is an example of this. In addition, though, the company is starting to make strides in promoting more life-saving features, like the Apple Watch’s Fall Detection functionality.
Recently, at Palo Alto VA hospital, researchers (who published their findings on PLoS ONE) tested how the Apple Watch held up in a more medical scenario. Arming cardiovascular disease patients with an iPhone 7 and an Apple Watch Series 3, the test measured how accurate the combo is in measuring a patient’s performance through home-based 6-minute walk tests. In a clinical setting, the devices accurately assessed a patient’s frailty with a sensitivity of 90 percent and a specificity of 85 percent. In comparison, a home-based test assessed frailty with a sensitivity of 83 percent and a specificity of 60 percent. Although it less accurate than an in-clinic test, the better performance of the Apple Watch compared to a home-based test suggests it is good enough to consider as a viable tool for remote heart monitoring.
Apple Watch: Can It Be A Health Tool?
However, while the test is seemingly exciting for Apple within the medical field, it does come with a number of caveats. For one, it was done for a very limited group of people: 100 veterans who are mostly elderly. More tests need to be done in different demographics and applications. The test by itself doesn’t necessarily reflect what the Apple Watch can do in the medical field. Further, remote monitoring is just one application among a host of others in the field. Even if the development sounds exciting for Apple users, the smartwatch still has a long way to go before it can be regarded as a truly legitimate device for monitoring and managing one’s health.
Even then, Apple might not even have any plans to enter the medical field. Creating more medical products will take a lot of investment. Apple is currently content with its slate of products positioned for the lifestyle market with health-focused features like blood oxygen monitoring. For now, the study merely suggests that the lifestyle-oriented smartwatch can be useful in certain health situations.
More: Apple Watch Series 7 Release Date: When & How Much To Expect
Source: PLoS ONE
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