Apple Watch is a great piece of wearable tech, there is no doubt about it but how accurate is the heart monitoring feature and how seriously should you take it? While the Apple Watch has helped plenty of people around the world, a recent study suggests that the Apple Watch heart monitoring features are not as accurate as what Apple would have you believe.
The study ended in August 2018 and there were 420,000 participants in total. 2,160 received notifications of arrhythmia. This number is 0.5% of the total number of participants. People who received Apple Heart Rate Warnings contacted the study doctors and they decided whether or not these people should get portable ECG patches which would help get more accurate results.
450 people got the patch and returned it back. Interestingly, it turned out that only 34% of the people were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. This means that two-thirds of the people had nothing wrong with their hearts. This got us thinking about the accuracy of the Apple Watch heart monitoring features and whether or not people should take it too seriously.
Renato Lopes, a professor at Duke University School of Medicine did mention that the device can help detect atrial fibrillation but also pointed out that the accuracy is not all that great. Another study found that the Apple Watch pulse monitoring is consistent with proper medical equipment 71% of the time. That is pretty accurate for wearable tech but it also means that it can mislead you in certain situations.
Gregory Marcus, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco touched on the matter and the following is what he had to say in this regard:
Doctors don’t recommend using the Apple Watch Heart Detection (EKG) unless you are a confirmed heart patient. For tech workers, EKG-enabled wearables can be exciting. But for health workers, it is worrying.
This is indeed true. This is a great device to have if you are a tech savvy person but the readings and numbers are not going to be as accurate as modern medical equipment. He further went on to mention the following:
If you are younger than 65 years old, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, heart disease is not, and never had a stroke, under normal circumstances, I would suggest you ignore Apple Watch warned you about.
Let us know what you think about the heart monitoring features of the Apple Watch and whether or not you have ever been misled by the device.