Apple Watch ECG feature could lead to unwanted anxiety
Apple Watch 4 series has a cool new feature – the ability to do electro cardiogram that monitors your heart rate. This over the counter ECG is capable of detecting signs of erratic heart rhythm but the observers are saying that this could lead to a whole new level of anxiety for hypochondriacs and pack visits the hospital’s emergency rooms.
Dr. Samuel Vaillancourt of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital told National Post,
“The fear is we could end up with a lot of over treatment, over call and people waiting in emergency departments for no good reason. “
The Apple Watch’s ECG app generates heart rhythm classification that determines if the heart if beating in a normal pattern or if there are signs of atrial fibrillation, also known as simply “AF”.
In AF, the heart quivers and beat chaotically and in this, the risk is that blood can go into upper chambers of heart that allows clots to form and travel arteries to brain and then causing stroke.
Keep in mind that American Heart Association does not endorse the Apple’s ECG application.
False positives also worry doctors. Sometimes, the tests show something abnormal while there is nothing to worry about. This is despite the fact the patient is completely healthy.