Numerous accounts attribute the Apple Watch’s ability to save lives in emergency scenarios. Per a recent Mayo Clinic study, Apple Watches can now aid in detecting cardiac dysfunctions and potentially fatal heart conditions.
According to a survey, heart failure affects at least 26 million users globally.
Through their investigation, Mayo Clinic researchers looked into the possibility of using the Apple Watch ECG to diagnose left ventricular dysfunction. The absence of symptoms makes heart dysfunction frequently misdiagnosed.
The study includes 2,454 people from 11 nations and 46 US states. Between August 2021 and February 2022, the patients’ 1,25,610 ECGs were sent via Apple Watch. The researchers’ in-house AI technology was then used to process the ECG data.
Because the Series 4, 5, 6, and 7 watches of the Apple Watch contain a sensor capable of detecting the electrical impulses indicative of the heartbeat and its rhythm, those watches were chosen for the study.
This information can be used to determine whether atrial fibrillation is present (irregular heart rhythm).
According to the study:
“The findings suggest the implementation of an AI algorithm based on ECGs can enable the early detection of poor EF (ejection fraction) in patients in the context of normal primary care.”
Additionally, the study suggests that smartwatches may be able to assist with early-stage remote digital health investigations.
However, the research study has not released the AI algorithms’ source code. This is so that the FDA can review the code, which is exclusive intellectual property (patent pending), according to the statement.
Consequences for Patient Care
Malfunction of the Left Ventricle
A type of heart failure called malfunction of the left ventricle occurs when the left ventricle, one of the heart’s chambers, weakens and is unable to pump blood throughout the body efficiently.