“The new iPhone models were quickly relegated to second tier headlines after Apple’s latest product announcement,” Heather May Morgan writes for The Conversation. “More people seem to be excited about the fact that the new Apple Watch will come with a built-in heart monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) function.”

“The Apple Watch 4 will be the first mainstream wearable gadget to integrate this kind of medical diagnostic technology,” Morgan writes. “We shouldn’t ignore concerns that an ECG test in a commercially available watch could encourage many people to make additional trips to the doctor when they have recorded any anomalous activity. A rush of gadget-adorned people descending on clinics demanding services is a worry. But many people already self-diagnose conditions or agonize about symptoms unnecessarily, often caused by using the internet and other technology. Those who do use the Apple Watch ECG may well include large numbers of ‘worried well.’ But the impact of uncontrolled use of ECG technology seems likely to be limited for the moment, especially as many people will still simply be unable to afford it.”

“Ultimately, we are living in a digital age and healthcare has so far been slow to revolutionize,” Morgan writes. “We should be harnessing technology to improve healthcare.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this month:

We bet that millions with undiagnosed AFib far outnumber hypochondriacs, but, even if they didn’t, the lives saved plus the research potential of having millions of people contributing ECG information to medical studies (with Apple, it’s always opt-in, of course) will far outweigh some unnecessary checkups.

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