Not only does the new Apple Watch 4 encourage you to be more productive, but it could also potentially save your life.
No longer is the Apple Watch being pushed as just a must-have fashion accessory, but rather a product that truly helps promote better health. The newest version of the Apple Watch was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide an electrocardiogram (EKG) test.
As the American Heart Association defines it, an EKG is “a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat.” The electrical signal is what causes the top and bottom heart valves to squeeze, and as a result, pumps blood.
EKGs help doctors assess both the speed and rhythm of the electrical signal, which can detect a host of problems, from minor arrhythmias (irregular rhythms) to heart attacks. EKGs can also help doctors determine if parts of your heart are enlarged or working too hard, both of which can indicate heart valve problems or heart disease. The FDA’s approval of the Apple Watch’s EKG feature designates that the watch can be used as a screening tool, making it an authentic medical device.
For the first time, this new Apple Watch EKG allows patients to monitor their heart rhythms at home in a non-invasive, long-lasting manner. Otherwise, patients are limited to either a 24-hour external heart rate monitor that only lasts 30 days or a monitoring device that must be surgically implanted in the chest, which lasts up to two years. The new Apple Watch monitoring option is a positive choice for those needing their hearts regularly monitored, as well as for those who have not yet been diagnosed with heart issues.
To use the EKG option, you must first open the ECG app, which prompts you to hold your finger on the watch. The watch begins measuring the heart’s electrical signals and shows your heart’s waveform in real-time. The app then records and saves your full-waveform so you can show it to your doctor if necessary.
While there are some phone heart-rate apps and products already on the market, the Apple Watch EKG should be more accurate. Other devices read the pulse through the wrist, but the Apple Watch’s EKG option monitors the pulse and blood flow from the finger. While the Apple Watch probably won’t be as accurate as getting monitored at the doctor’s office, it can still help indicate irregular heartbeats or other heart disease symptoms.
Consumers must note that APPLE EKG is good for detecting heart rhythm issues but does not detect heart attack. The rhythm of a heartbeat helps doctors identify the possibility of Atrial Fibrillation, potentially leading to treatment prior to a major event, such as stroke. Being able to easily conduct an EKG from home may help detect heart disease earlier. As a result, patients can feasibly get treatment before a major event occurs, which can help save both lives and healthcare costs.
This blog has been published in collaboration with Prairie Cardiology, the premier Cardiology group in Illinois. Prairie Cardiovascular is a national leader in providing high-quality, state-of-the-art heart and vascular care. Make an appointment with one of the providers today, through ACCESS Prairie program.