DID YOU KNOW?
Smartwatches have progressed from good-looking wrist-worn devices to innovative health tools that track your movement, tally your daily steps and keep tabs on your fitness goals. Now, there are smartwatches that can also track your heart rate through sensors that monitor the blood flow underneath your skin. This is done by tracing your heart’s electrical signature (electrocardiogram or ECG), and in the event the smartwatch detects an irregularity, it alerts you. These irregular or rapid heartbeats are known as atrial fibrillations and they can lead to an array of cardiac ailments, including blood clots, stroke, and even heart failure.
Recently the FDA granted Apple approval to include an ECG monitor in their Apple Watch Series 4. With the accompanying ECG app, the wearer will be notified of any abnormalities in his heart rate. Coincidentally, Android has also released a similar app called Cardiogram and is available on Samsung, Garmin, and Xiaomi smartwatches. However, there is still a long way to go. The algorithms that detect atrial fibrillation are still partly inaccurate because of a number of factors. Environmental conditions like temperature & light and physical activity can affect your heart rate. Plus, it’s perfectly normal for the heart to sometimes skip a beat! Interpreting the data from these apps should be done by a qualified physician if you want a precise reading. But at least now we have access to important data about our heart by just looking at our smartwatches.
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