Apple Watch can help detect silent heart disease

With a focus on identifying heart abnormalities like left ventricular dysfunction, a recent study has taken a closer look at the ECG capabilities of the Apple Watch. 

Left Ventricular dysfunction of the heart is usually followed by congestive heart failure that can lead to a multitude of cardiac disorders.

The Mayo Clinic study explains that cardiac dysfunction often goes undiagnosed due to its asymptomatic nature, meaning people with it are unaware of it, reports 9to5Mac.

It would be a major breakthrough if something like the Apple Watch could detect it passively or help diagnose it, the report added.

The study included 2,454 patients from the US and 11 other countries. From August 2021 to February 2022, these participants sent over 1,25,000 ECGs via their Apple Watch.

These results were then “scrubbed and processed via a proprietary AI algorithm developed by the researchers”, according to the report.

By using the mean prediction within a 30-day window or the closest ECG relative to the echocardiogram that determined the EF, the AI algorithm detected patients with a low EF (ejection fraction) with an area under the curve of 0.885 (95 per cent confidence interval 0.823-0.946) and 0.881 (0.815-0.947), said the report.

The findings showed that “consumer-watch ECGs acquired in nonclinical environments can identify patients with cardiac dysfunction”.

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