“One of the most surprising announcements at Apple’s annual hardware event on Wednesday wasn’t a new iPhone, or even the new, thinner, next-generation Apple Watch. It was a feature on the Apple Watch,” Robbie Gonzalez writes for Wired. “‘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.'”
“It sounds like a great idea in theory,” Gonzalez writes. “People with atrial fibrillation, which the CDC estimates affects between 2.7 and 6.1 million Americans, could likely benefit from a wearable, on-demand ECG device like the new Apple Watch. (AFib is the most common arrhythmia, and the only kind Apple’s watch is approved to detect.) But for everyone else, evidence suggests the potential costs could actually outweigh the proposed benefits… there is such a thing as too much insight into one’s health.”
“‘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,'” Gonzalez writes. “The cases in which Apple’s new watch could be most helpful are obvious: People with atrial fibrillation, family histories of heart disease, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and so on.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This is a stupid article that in itself states, “not many studies have looked at the effects of widespread ECG screening” yet spills a lot of ink ignoring that salient fact.
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.
How Apple Watch saved my life – September 10, 2018
Apple Watch saves another life – August 7, 2018
Apple Watch saves yet another life – May 11, 2018
Apple Watch: How to enable Elevated Heart Rate notifications – May 8, 2018
Apple Watch saves life of New York man – May 3, 2018
Apple Watch saves Florida teen’s life – May 1, 2018
Apple Watch saves a mother and her baby after a car crash – February 16, 2018
Apple Watch saves kitesurfer stranded a mile off the California coast in great white shark-infested waters – November 13, 2017
Apple Watch saves another person’s life: ‘It would have been fatal’ – October 16, 2017
How my Apple Watch saved my life – July 25, 2016
A real lifesaver: Apple Watch saves lives – March 28, 2016
Man credits Apple Watch with saving his life – March 15, 2016
Apple Watch saves teenager’s life; Tim Cook offers thankful teen an internship – October 2, 2015
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Ladd” for the heads up.]