The new ECG Apple watch could do more harm than good!!
Sharing an interesting article that speaks at length about the "ECG feature" in the newly launched Apple watch.
One of the most surprising announcements at Apple's annual hardware event wasn't a new iPhone, or even the new, thinner, next-generation Apple Watch. It was a feature on the Apple Watch.
"We've added electrodes into the back sapphire crystal and the digital crown, allowing you to take an electrocardiogram," said COO Jeff Williams, eliciting one of the day's biggest rounds of applause. "This is the first ECG product offered over the counter, directly to consumers."
Let's ignore for now whether Apple's new watch really is the first direct-to-consumer ECG (It's not.) The bigger question is whether it's a good idea in the first place. Healthcare providers usually use ECGs in hospitals to measure the heart's electrical activity and detect abnormalities in its rhythm. But with the latest iteration of its smartwatch, Apple wants to put an ECG on your wrist that you can use "anytime, anywhere."
Many societies like the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend against ECG screening in asymptomatic adults at low risk for heart disease. As for screening asymptomatic adults at high- or intermediate-risk of heart disease, the task force says there's insufficient evidence. And in a separate statement published in JAMA just last month, the panel had the same to say about ECG screening for atrial fibrillation, specifically.
"Do you wind up catching a few undiagnosed cases? Sure. But for the vast majority of people it will have either no impact or possibly a negative impact by causing anxiety or unnecessary treatment," says cardiologist Theodore Abraham, director of the UCSF Echocardiography Laboratory. The more democratized you make something like ECG, he says, the more you increase the rate of false positives—especially among the hypochondriac set. "In the case of people who are very type-A, obsessed with their health, and fitness compulsive, you could see a lot of them overusing Apple's tech to self-diagnose and have themselves checked out unnecessarily."
Read more here: https://www.wired.com/story/ecg-apple-watch/