Study show looking at your smart watch for 15 seconds can reveal signs of heart failure
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Smart watches have become a popular gadget in the last decade, with the phone extension able to help with things like checking emails, texting, or monitoring your pulse while going for a run. But it can also help detect if you are at risk of developing heart failure, according to a new study.
Up to one in every 50 Brits will be affected by heart failure in their lifetime, with around 200,000 new cases every year in the UK. But a majority of cases are discovered and diagnosed too late, which can lead to complications such as anaemia and kidney damage.
A new study has been looking at how smart watches may help users discover early signs of heart failure, which could lead to an earlier diagnosis and less risk of further complications. The study, involving more than 83,000 people, found that those whose heartbeats are too close together, which indicates a different electrical pattern in the heart’s lower chambers, are around twice as likely to develop heart failure.
The abnormal heartbeat pattern can be picked up by a smartwatch ECG, the study claims. Users of the gadget only have to look at their watch for 15 seconds in order to spot if any heartbeat spikes appear too close together.
According to the research, around 1 in 50 middle-aged Brits have irregular heartbeats every 15 seconds. And while this is mostly normal, it could be an early sign of increased risk of heart failure.
Discovering the irregularities early, anyone affected can contact their GP and ask to monitor their heartbeat more closely. This could increase the chance of spotting heart failure early, reducing the risk of further damage.
Dr Michele Orini, from the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London, who led the study, said: “Smart watches present an exciting future for helping people to pick up emerging heart problems early, so that those at greater risk of heart failure can take steps like exercising more and improving their diet. It is so important to detect conditions early, and technology can help with that.”
The study, published in the European Heart Journal - Digital Health, looked at 83,340 people aged 50 to 70. They underwent 15-second ECG’s with electrodes on their body, similar to that of a smartwatch.