Apple Watch Series 4 ECG Feature Not That Useful Says Cardiologists

An Apple employee shows the features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 at the Apple Store in Singapore
An Apple employee shows the features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 at the Apple Store in Singapore September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su (Photo: EDGAR SU | Reuters)

The of Apple Watch Series 4 has an exclusive ECG app that has the ability to show signs of AFiB or arterial fibrillation was one of the unique selling proposition of the Cupertino-based tech titan when it introduced the smartwatch to the market. AFib is considered a major risk factor for stroke, and the smartwatch could potentially be a lifesaver for many wearers. However, this belief is not shared by many Cardiologists who have a different opinion on the matter.

CNET interviewed several Cardiologists, and although these doctors agree that AFib is a problem they also believe that it is not likely to be found on wearers of Apple Watch Series 4. The Center for Disease and prevention or CDC estimates that there are approximately between 2.7 million and 6.1 million US citizens affected by AFib by these are usually found in people who are 65 years old and above. Only 2 percent of those affected with AFib is 65 years old and younger.

Most of the time, incidents of AFib are short, has no symptom, and may not even entail treatment. In other words, a young and healthy person who has not experienced or has no health problems using the ECG app of Apple Watch Series 4 might not be at all beneficial. The feature, however, is not at all disadvantageous; according to some cardiologists it has alerted several wearers of different age groups who have known heart issues.

University of Michigan professor Dr. Venkatesh Murthy of preventive cardiology believes that 90 percent of irregular heart rhythm alerts in the younger groups wearing Apple Watch Series 4 are false alarms. It could also mean that the young and healthy demographic who continue to buy and use the ECG app of the Apple Watch Series 4 are highly likely to be at risk of over-treatment. They are also susceptible to unnecessary worries and unwanted stress over a problem that does not exist at all.

But, this is not to say that we are disregarding the massive benefits of having an ECG app in a smartwatch, particularly in Apple Watch Series 4. Cardiologists actually believe that it could be very useful, especially for those with AFib. But, experts still think that the Apple Watch Series 4 has several limitations. This only means a bigger room for improvement where health and technology can work hand in hand and develop new, responsive, and exciting products in the nearest future.

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