Medscape: AF detection by smartwatch challenging in some patients

UC expert says patients at risk for developing AF could benefit from monitoring using a smartwatch

New research shows that the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation (AF) is significantly affected by underlying ECG abnormalities such as sinus node dysfunction, atrioventricular block, or intraventricular conduction delay. In a story on the research published by Medscape, Richard Becker, MD, professor and director, UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute and UC Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the UC College of Medicine provided reaction to the research. 

Richard Becker, MD

Richard Becker, MD/Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

"This is exactly the kind of investigation required to improve upon existing detection algorithms that will someday facilitate routine use in patient care," said Becker. "An ability to detect AF in a large proportion of those with the heart rhythm abnormality is encouraging."

The findings should not detract from well-conducted studies in otherwise healthy individuals of varied age in whom AF was accurately detected, he added. "Similarly, an automatic diagnosis algorithm for AF, pending optimization and validation in a large and diverse cohort, should be viewed as a communication tool between patients and healthcare providers."

Patients at risk for developing AF could benefit from continuous monitoring using a smartwatch, said Becker.

"Pre-existing heart rhythm abnormalities must be taken into consideration. Optimal utilization of emerging technology to include wearables requires an understanding of performance and limitations. It is best undertaken in coordination with a healthcare provider."

Read the full coverage here

Lead photo/Onur Binay/Unsplash

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