March 20, 2019

Is the Apple Watch a "game changer" or "the worst heart device ever"?

In a recent Stanford University study funded by Apple, 420,000 people agreed to have their Apple watches send intermittent information about heart regularity to researchers. The findings? Let's just say that Dr. Milton Packer is not impressed. Dr. Milton Packer on The Apple Heart Study

Of the 219,000+ participants aged 40 and under, 341 were notified of an irregularity. In reality, only nine actually had atrial fibrillation. For seniors, 775 were alerted, but only 63 had a confirmed heart issue. The study did not collect how many episodes of atrial fibrillation were not detected. According to Dr. Packer, "we learned almost nothing of importance."

This is me talking: Just as Electronic Health Records are not a substitute for face-to-face provider-patient and provider-provider communication, neither is a little device on your wrist equivalent to prudent preventive care.