Cardiologists Debate Usefulness of ECG Function on Apple Watch 4

Apple Watch ECG reading

Apple Watch has been lauded for saving lives. We have seen how the smartwatch has helped users emerge out of dangerous situations and also consider seeking medical help. In most of the cases, Apple Watch lets users know something is wrong with their vitals. However, Doctors argue the usefulness of such a feature and how it might be creating problems by raising false alarms.

Apple introduced two new features on the Apple Watch 4, the ECG and an ability to detect atrial fibrillation. CNET reports that Cardiologists have found a mismatch in the age group of Apple Watch owners and those with actual cases of AFib.

Sales research from the NPD Group shows that adults ages 18 to 34 are buying smartwatches more than any other age demographic. And EMarketer predicted that in 2019 consumers ages 25 to 34 will remain the largest group to purchase wearables.

Contrast that with the fact that the CDC estimates AFib affects somewhere between 2.7 million and 6.1 million Americans, but the majority of those people are over the age of 65. In fact, only approximately 2% of people younger than age 65 have AFib and it’s estimated that only 1% of the population may have undiagnosed AFib. In the latter two groups, AFib episodes are often brief, cause no symptoms and may not require treatment.

As you can see a majority of Americans above the age of 65 are detected with AFib while Apple Watch is mostly used by adults between the age 18 to 34.

Our Take

Calling Apple Watch’s ECG feature as a gimmick is far fetched. Most of us are ignorant of our health and this is where fitness devices like Apple Watch come into the picture. Recently we reported an incident wherein an Apple Watch user was barred from running in a marathon and had to undergo a surgical process. If he had not been warned by the watch, then the chances of fatality would have increased several folds. Do you think it is necessary to invest in an Apple Watch for the sake of ECG feature? Let us know in the comments below.

[via CNET]