Is the Apple Watch the Future of Health?
Apple’s efforts to get FDA approval and wider doctor acceptance seem to be falling short. They also point to potential risks for people with sleep apnea and heart problems. As such, the Apple Watch is not yet ready for prime time. But it could be a game-changer for those who need a constant checkup or need to monitor their heart rate.
As Apple continues to push the Apple Watch to the forefront of health care, some are wondering if the watch really changes the way we manage our health. But until the watch receives FDA approval and wide physician acceptance, it is still too early to tell. Some experts, however, say the watch is the future of health care. Read on for their thoughts on the Apple Watch. Here are their top tips for health-conscious consumers.
The ECG capability should remain in the Apple Watch, but people should be careful to use it for monitoring purposes. Apple should add this medical feature as an add-on so that people who suffer from heart problems can use it to their benefit. Otherwise, millions of people may be subjected to unnecessary screening. Fortunately, Apple has not yet responded to a request for further information. However, it is better to keep these devices as add-ons, rather than removing them from the Watch.
Experts say the Apple Watch has yet to change patient management
While the Apple Watch is capable of collecting many useful data points, not all of them are clinical grade. Indeed, clinical psychologist Michael Breus says 99.9% of doctors aren’t onboard. Virta Health CEO Sami Inkinen says that giving people data without personalized care recommendations won’t help them get healthier.
While there have been some early reports of this technology changing patient management, experts say that there’s a long way to go before the Apple Watch is truly transformative. Apple has already announced partnerships with private health insurance companies and other institutions to help them reach a wider audience. UnitedHealthcare also plans to incorporate health apps that track patients’ physical activity.
Apple’s efforts to get FDA approval
Despite this setback, Apple has already made headway in the field of digital health. Apple recently acquired personal health records startup Gliimpse, and sleep tracking startup Beddit, which detects heartbeats and transmits information via Bluetooth to other compatible devices.
Possible harm to people’s heart
However, consumers should be aware that there is a risk of false-positive results, especially with consumer-grade EKG devices. While the FDA has cleared the watch for this purpose, there are still some concerns about the risk.
There are many issues with the device, including false-positive alerts. This may lead to unnecessary trips to the doctor. Furthermore, it could cause unnecessary anxiety and stress among people without heart problems. The research team is working to make the watch more reliable. They hope to develop a more accurate heart monitoring device by the end of 2017.
Risk of harm to people with sleep apnea
The Apple Watch has come under fire for its alleged relationship with sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing lasting seconds or minutes. It is a potentially serious disorder resulting in poor sleep quality and a higher risk of heart disease.
While Apple Watch does not directly detect apnea, it may be useful for detecting the condition. Its FDA-cleared features, such as the ECG and pulse oximeter, may detect abnormal heart rhythms, respiratory disorders, and movement disturbances during sleep.
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