Apple Watches have already proven their usefulness alerting users to a heart problem, allowing for rapid treatment, before more serious problems arise. However, it is possible that the usefulness of these connected watches is enhanced by algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Mayo Clinic researchers analyzed data from more than 125,000 EKGs taken with Apple Watch. Data taken from 2,454 volunteers from the United States and 11 other countries – between August 2021 and February 2022. The data in question “were compiled and processed through a proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm developed by the researchers.”
Apple Watches would be useful for detecting heart failure
All with one goal: to demonstrate the ability to draw data generated by the sensors of the Apple Watch from the new cardiac diagnostics. In particular, the researchers were interested in left ventricular failure, a condition that is usually asymptomatic but inevitably leads to more sudden and more serious problems.
Severe heart failure can develop into a chronic disease with a life expectancy beyond 5 years of less than 50%. As the researchers explain: “The left ventricle of the heart is primarily responsible for pumping oxygen to the most vital organs. It is therefore important to diagnose any left ventricular problem as early as possible.”
However, according to the researchers, thanks to data from the Apple Watch “AI algorithm detected patients with weak ejection […] establishing its prediction on other ECGs corresponding to a proven insufficiency”. Therefore, researchers believe it “Smartwatches have the potential to identify heart failure patients outside the clinical setting.”
The researchers add that the data of these watches “They have the potential to assist researchers conducting remote health studies in the initial stages of their research.” The prestigious scientific journal Nature decided to resume the researchers’ work this week. The discovery is not the only one of medical interest.
The researchers are now trying to get their algorithm validated by the FDA. If they succeed, researchers could legally offer an application that allows their patients to monitor any heart failure problems and generate alerts that allow for better care.
For now, Apple Watch alerts are limited to notifications of abnormally low or high heart rates, as well as detection of signs of arrhythmia that may suggest atrial fibrillation (AF), making it already possibleencourage the wearer to carry out more thorough examinations.