“If there’s one thing almost guaranteed to send your heart rate soaring, it’s having a smartwatch wake you up at 3 a.m. with an alert that you might be about to die,” Nate Lanxon writes for Bloomberg. “This happened to me three weeks ago. My Apple Watch sounded an alarm in the early hours — concerned and disoriented, I sat up thinking at first it was an emergency phone call. It wasn’t. It was an alert that my heart was racing at about 128 beats per minute even though I was motionless.”
“For me, a reasonably healthy 33-year-old, the reality was innocuous. I’d been having a violent nightmare after an evening of uncharacteristically heavy drinking. My brain was reacting to fear, my blood was full of alcohol, and my heart was having to overcompensate. After an hour, I calmed down and went back to bed,” Lanxon writes. “But it left me with a lingering concern… I’ve had a severe nervous disorder since my teens that’s triggered by hypochondria.”
“I think the industry needs to ensure that the sympathetic communication of warnings remains a priority. For someone with a nervous disposition, being woken up by a device flashing a health warning is a sure-fire way to trigger panic,” Lanxon writes. “I would hope a future ecosystem of devices and sensors will be even smarter, and more sensitive to mental health too. In my 3 a.m. scenario, perhaps they would be able to triangulate that restless sleep, a high blood-alcohol level, and a one-off high heart rate, was likely more indicative of “user error” (i.e. too many beers) rather than imminent cardiac arrest due to undetected heart complications.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: There are so many permutations to think about. Hopefully as machine learning becomes smarter and more pervasive, our devices will perform everything, including medical warnings, more intelligently.