Using the Apple Watch’s ECG feature, researchers at the Mayo Clinic have created an AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm to detect a weak heart pump or left ventricular dysfunction.
Currently, Apple Watch Series 4 and new models offer several health monitoring and tracking features like low and high heart rate notifications, Irregular Rhythm notifications or detection of atrial fibrillation via ECG app, Fall Detection, sleep tracking, and more. These features have proven to save many lives and allowed patients to seek timely medical treatments, especially patients with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation.
Powered by Apple Watch’s ECG app, users can monitor and detect weak heart pump
The ECG app uses the electrical heart sensor placed in the Digital Crown of a compatible Apple Watch to record a single-lead ECG similar to a Lead I ECG. As per the new research shared at the Heart Rhythm Society conference, a new ECG app was developed at the Mayo Clinic which checks for users’ latest ECG readings in the background, automatically screens for weak heart pump or left ventricular dysfunction at home or anywhere away from a medical center.
This app can be considered a breakthrough in medicine because a weak heart pump condition affects up to 3% of people worldwide and 9% of people over 60 years old that has no symptoms. Paul Friedman, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester said:
“What is important is that once we know a weak heart pump is present, there are many lifesaving and symptom-preventing treatments available. It is absolutely remarkable that AI transforms a consumer watch ECG signal into a detector of this condition, which would normally require an expensive, sophisticated imaging test, such as an echocardiogram, CT scan or MRI.”
Previous studies involving Apple Watch have found that it can detect COVID-19 even before the symptoms surface, and detect heart arrhythmias other than Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). It is reported that Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a body temperature sensor, and measure blood pressure, glucose, and alcohol levels.