Smartwatch detects heart problems: digital wristwatches can protect against heart attacks
Conventional wristwatches are worn with pleasure. Smartwatches have not yet outstripped their predecessors. However, the digital models have some additional functions – which can detect heart problems early on.
Some models can be used to obtain an ECG, for example. A smartwatch can therefore be able to measure the electrical activity of the heart. Cardiac arrhythmias can also be detected by some variants. Now researchers have even reported a special model that is supposed to make heart blood flow disturbances visible. Many smartwatch models were analyzed by stiftung warentest in 2019 – you can find the results here.
Smartwatch model may prevent heart attacks
It has long been known that smartwatches can detect cardiac arrhythmias. So a 2019 study by scientists showed that digital wristwatches can detect and identify problems such as atrial fibrillation.
A team of doctors from the cardiopraxis in mainz and the center for cardiology at the university of medicine in mainz has now made a remarkable discovery: a certain smartwatch model is said to be able to detect cardiac perfusion disturbances. In an announcement of the universitatsmedizin mainz it is even said that this discovery could prevent heart attacks worldwide.
Specifically, this is the case of an 80-year-old female patient in mainz, germany. The woman was received by the universitatsmedizin mainz with chest pain, an irregular pulse and the feeling of losing consciousness at any moment. All of these symptoms point to coronary artery disease – which increases the risk of heart attack.
Analysis of apple watch saves 80-year-old woman
However, a recorded ECG and a blood test were inconclusive. However, the woman had previously saved ECG recordings with her apple watch and shown them to medics. Clear indications of a severe and acute cardiac perfusion disorder were found. The patient was immediately examined with a heart catheter, which confirmed the suspicion of coronary heart disease. Thanks to the correct and quickly initiated measures, the woman was able to be discharged two days later without symptoms.
The digital diagnosis assistant can save lives: the apple watch
Medical experts agree on the basis of the new findings: this discovery could save lives. While smartwatches have so far been used primarily for diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias, the apple watch may be able to provide important analyses across the board and thus prevent heart attacks in good time.
"Considering that millions of people wear such a watch, our observation is sensational", explains univ.-prof. Dr. Thomas munzel from the center for cardiology at the university of medicine mainz.
The aim now is to share these findings with the world. The ECG app of the apple watch can also be used to detect cardiac perfusion disorders. "The case shows that digitization in medical technology can no longer be stopped. The challenge now is to make them as safe and efficient as possible for the future and for patients. If used appropriately, digital diagnostic aids can save lives, as in the case of the 80-year-old patient", so PD dr. Christian elsner, commercial director of the universitatsmedizin mainz.