Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac arrhythmia that can have serious health implications. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) are a critical tool for diagnosing this condition, and are typically performed in medical settings using specialized equipment. However, smart watches such as the Apple Watch have introduced the possibility of performing ECGs in a much easier and more accessible way.
What does the study say?
The study in Basel involved 450 participants of various levels of experience in medicine and education. They were asked to evaluate single-lead readings from several popular devices, all of them smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Sense, KardiaMobile, Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Withings ScanWatch. Study participants had to classify the readings into three categories: sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, or inconclusive.
The results of this study have brought to light interesting conclusions involving the Apple Watch. Despite differences in accuracy, most of the devices tested had a similar accuracy in detecting atrial fibrillation. However, what made the Apple Watch stand out was the quality of the data and its readability.
The ECG data from the Apple Watch was found to be of higher quality and easier to interpret compared to other devices. This is a crucial factor, as interpreting ECGs can be challenging even for medical professionals.
Despite the small differences in accuracy, the good thing is that any user, regardless of the device they choose, can trust that the atrial fibrillation detection It is not significantly more accurate on one device compared to another. This means that, overall, smartwatches are a useful tool in the early detection of atrial fibrillation.
The Apple Watch always ahead
However, what makes the Apple Watch stand out? According to study participants, 45% of them felt that the Apple Watch offered the highest quality readings, and 50% stated that they were the most readable. This suggests that even if accuracy is similar, the user experience may be significantly better with certain devices like the Apple Watch.
In this way, the Apple Watch proves to be a promising tool in the detection of atrial fibrillation. Although detection accuracy is similar between devices tested, data quality and readability can make a difference in user experience and monitoring effectiveness. With the right training, health professionals can make the most of the data offered by the Apple Watch to identify problems and offer the appropriate treatment. In that sense, Apple is increasingly clear that it wants to position itself as the company that offers the most effective smart watch on the market.