European Heart Journal Concludes Apple Watch’s ECG App Can Detect Myocardial Ischemia

Apple Watch ECG reading

We have reported several instances of how the Apple Watch has helped in saving lives. The European Heart Journal has revealed in a new report how the Apple Watch saved the life of an 80-year old in Germany by detecting signs of myocardial ischemia that was missed by a hospital ECG.

Apple’s ECG app can be used to generate an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram, which can provide critical data to doctors. The European Heart Journal claims that doctors performed a traditional 12-channel ECG but did not detect any signs of ischemia. However, when the patient showed the results of the ECG generated by her Apple Watch, the doctors noticed tracings with marked ST-segment depression, which indicated signs of myocardial ischemia. As per the Mayo clinic “Myocardial ischemia occurs when blood flow to your heart is reduced, preventing the heart muscle from receiving enough oxygen. The reduced blood flow is usually the result of a partial or complete blockage of your heart’s arteries (coronary arteries).”

The Journal reports that based on the ECG results from the Apple Watch, “the patient was transferred to the catheterization laboratory, where left main stem stenosis and a left anterior descending/diagonal bifurcation lesion.”

The Journal concludes that “Apple Watch may be used not only to detect atrial fibrillation or atrioventricular-conduction disturbances but also to detect myocardial ischemia.”

During the Q2 2020 earnings call, Tim Cook revealed that the company sees the health area as a huge opportunity and a way for the company to help a lot of people. According to rumors, the next-generation Apple Watch, unofficially dubbed Apple Watch 6, will feature the ability to detect panic attacks, pulse oximeter for blood oxygen monitoring, improved ECG, sleep tracking, and other mental health features.

This is a really interesting story, but I am assuming that adequate studies will need to be done to rely on Apple Watch for detecting myocardial ischemia.

[European Heart Journal via 9to5Mac]

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