The newest version of the Apple Watch has the unique distinction of receiving FDA approval of its EKG monitoring feature which allows it monitor and identify potentially dangerous heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation. This addition of the EKG could have turned the watch into a life-saving medical device, warning its wearers of abnormal heart rhythms.
According to the CDC, an estimated 6.1 million Americans may be living with Afib which can cause a significant increase for severe strokes, heart failure, blood clots, and chronic fatigue. However, because heart rhythm problems are sporadic in nature, it can be difficult to identify and diagnose Afib without reliable, consistent monitoring.
Dr. Sanjaya Gupta, cardiologist with Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, believes this device is a game changer for those with AFib. He has completed a study on accurate smartphone-based heart monitoring applications, such as AliveCor Kardia, which predicts that patients who can easily keep tabs on their heart health will stay on prescribed medication. Because of AliveCor Kardia monitors that work in conjunction with smartphones, patients are given a comfort and flexibility knowing they can testing their heart health can happen just at their fingertips. By using devices like this, they can show their physician precisely what they experienced, when and for how long. Apple Watch Series 4 will now be another option for patients to keep track of their heart health and share with their physicians.
Dr. Gupta talks to KMBC about the benefits of the Apple Watch now having the capability to monitor and save EKG's and a patient explains how technology like this has helped him keep tabs on his Afib.