Apple Watch triggers false positive trigger alarms

Apple Watch triggers false positive trigger alarms

The Apple Watch was found to trigger false positive alarms for users, which prompt them to consult a doctor immediately after being notified.

The tech industry is rapidly moving into the realm of health and fitness. More subscription services now offer exercise guides and wellness videos. Even tech companies are aggressively giving users instant health monitoring devices. Unfortunately, these wearables aren’t as accurate as they propose to be.

Samsung, Apple, and Fitbit are all working on their smartwatches that monitor the health of their users. Some offer EKG monitors, while some monitors the sleep patterns of its users. Once any abnormal issue or report is detected, users are immediately notified. As a result, the wearers of these smartwatches are prompted to consult a doctor.

Apple Watch monitoring triggers false alarms

In a study published in JAMIA,  the basic conclusion showed that at-home monitoring health devices might lead to the over-utilization of the healthcare system. The immediate effect found because of this reason is that the system may be overburdened. Not only that, but it may also entail expensive costs for users.

The study was conducted in several clinics across the United States. It was conducted over six months, wherein patients mentioned the Apple Watch as their prompt to visit the doctors.

The records showed that as many as 534 patients mentioned the Apple Watch in its consultation. In this set, 264 patients mentioned that the Apple Watch detected unusual pulse detection or atrial fibrillation. This health problem, according to the study,

“is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting over 30 million people worldwide; however, as many as one-third of cases may be asymptomatic.”

The study found out that almost half of the 264 patients already had a preexisting condition related to the heart. Also, a good percentage of the patients were under 22 years old.

Is there a misuse of the device?

According to the study, stricter access to the device is needed. FDA regulations state that the usage of the Apple Watch must be only for a specific set of users. The directive says,

“The feature has not been tested for and is not intended for use in people under 22 years of age. It is also not intended for use in individuals previously diagnosed with [atrial fibrillation].”

In other words, the study suggests that the Apple Watch must be appropiately used. Otherwise, the healthcare system may encounter a heavy influx of false-positive triggers that prompt visits to the doctors.

Image from Sabina/ Unsplash

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