In 2007, Apple released the very first iPhone in the United States. At the time, we had no way of knowing just how far these smart phone devices would come and just how quickly. By 2011 we began interacting with AI assistant, Siri, and by 2015 we were connecting the smart phone in our pockets to the smart watch on our wrist. Before long, this technology was giving us everything from calls and texts to step counts and heart rates, and its usefulness from a fitness and health continues to grow.
Smart Watches Combat Heart Disease
Around the mid-20th century, heart disease overtook the top spot as the leading cause of death for Americans. By 1968, it had hit its peak with over one million lives lost. Fortunately, those rates have been declining ever since. This is largely due to a greater understanding of cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Today, however, wearable technology such as smart watches are also providing major advantages in the war against heart disease.
Apple Watch Heart Rate Notifications
Improved heart rate notifications are among the latest capabilities of the newest Apple Watch generations. While monitoring your heart rate during physical activity or periods of rest has long been a functionality, Apple has taken these tools a step further. Now, the watch can alert users to suspiciously low or high heart rates during periods of inactivity. Settings may be adjusted, but as a rule, the watch will alert users to a heart rate above 120 bpm or below 40 bpm when they appear to have been inactive for at least 10 minutes.
Apple Watch AFib Detection
While it certainly cannot provide a foolproof diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, the new Apple Watch can alert users to the possibility of AFib. If heart rate irregularities suggestive of an AFib arrhythmia are detected, users will receive an alert. At this point, a cardiologist should be consulted as quickly as possible for a complete evaluation and possible diagnosis. In addition, Apple's Health app can provide details of past readings, providing physicians with even greater levels of insight.
Apple Watch ECG Application
Among the most impressive new developments from Apple is the implementation of an ECG app. If users begin to experience troublesome symptoms such as an irregular heartbeat, they can use the app to record a quick snapshot ECG along with any symptoms they may be experiencing. The app will then provide an interpretation of the reading and can prompt users to seek emergency medical attention if needed. Recorded ECG results can also be taken to a cardiologist for further evaluation and interpretation.
If you suspect a possible heart condition based on readings from your smart watch or fitness tracker, it is important to seek medical attention from a skilled cardiologist. To request an appointment for consultation and examination with one of the many qualified physicians at Cardiovascular Institute of the South, click the button below.