Research: Users see more doctors because of the Apple Watch. In 90% of cases – in vain

An interesting study was conducted in the US on how the Apple Watch leads to unnecessary hospital visits. Written by Heather Heaton, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

Heaton and a team of researchers scanned patient records at every Mayo clinic, including offices in Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, and Iowa, for references to the term “Apple Watch” over the six-month period from December 2018 to April 2019.

As a result, 264 patients were found who said their Apple Watch had an alarming heart rate. 41 people directly spoke about receiving the alert. Others may have gotten it too, but did not mention it. Half of the patients already had a diagnosis of heart failure, including 58 previously diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. About two-thirds had symptoms, including dizziness or chest pain.

But only 30 patients were eventually diagnosed with heart disease, which is about 10% of all who applied. That is, in 90% of cases, the watch led to an unnecessary visit to the doctor. According to the authors of the study, this wastes time for the user and the doctor, and also leads to stress. They also believe that smartwatches “blur the line between carefully researched medical devices and tools for wellness”.

At the same time, one should not forget that in some cases watches and fitness trackers really save the lives of their owners.

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