Sometimes you don’t need to follow your Apple Watch’s heart monitor. A new study revealed that the Watch’s heart monitor sends people to the doctor even if they don’t need it.
The Apple Watch Study
The Verge reports that just about 10% of the people who got an abnormal reading on their heart monitor and went to the Mayo Clinic had a heart condition. According to the study, health devices like the Apple Watch could cause the US healthcare system to clog.
The Apple Watch heart monitor sends too many people to the doctor https://t.co/8JKUGEQ4QD pic.twitter.com/EpvZYenTPj
— The Verge (@verge) October 2, 2020
Going to the hospital because your health device told you to might just waste both your time and the doctor’s time.
The Apple Watch’s Heart Monitor
The researchers scoured patient records from different Mayo Clinic sits across the US. From December 2018 to April 2019, the team looked for the keywords “Apple Watch” in the patient files.
After six months, the researchers found records of 264 patients who received a warning from their Apple Watch. Among the 264 patients, 41 said that their watches alerted them of abnormal heart rhythm. Half of the patients received a cardiac diagnosis. Moreover, nearly two-thirds experienced symptoms, such as chest pain or lightheadedness.
Most importantly, just 30 patients received a cardiac diagnosis after visiting the doctor. With these results, the researchers said that most of these alerts were false positives.
Why Use the Apple Watch’s Heart Monitor?
The Verge says that people might find health devices useful, but no one has proven their utility yet. Not only will false positives waste doctors’ time, but they would also confuse and stress out the patients.
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