Image source: Garmin

Study suggests smartwatches could give 30-minute heart problem warning

Get ready, because the smartwatch on your wrist may be transforming from a convenient fitness tracker into a bona fide lifesaver! A groundbreaking new study reveals technology that could allow smartwatches to predict atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) up to 30 minutes before it occurs. Think of it as an early warning system for your heart, giving you precious time to prepare and potentially avert a serious health crisis.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a serious heart condition that dramatically increases your risk of stroke, heart failure, and other complications. The tricky thing about AFib is that it often lurks silently, with episodes that are unpredictable or without obvious symptoms. In fact, many people are not even aware they have the condition. This is why the idea of your smartwatch alerting you to a potential problem is a major breakthrough. Instead of being caught off-guard, you could be empowered to take early action.

How does smartwatch prediction work?

As reported by ScienceDaily, researchers from the University of Luxembourg harnessed the power of deep learning to create a model that pinpoints subtle patterns in heart rhythm data collected by smartwatches. These patterns act like red flags, signaling an impending AFib episode way before you might even feel your heart acting strangely. The study found excellent accuracy rates, with the AI being able to warn of atrial fibrillation and other disorders with more than 80 percent accuracy.

Apple Afib

The researchers discovered this prediction could be made an average of 30 minutes before an arrhythmia occurs. Amazingly, in some cases, the prediction stretched to a full 40 minutes. This opens a valuable window of opportunity for individuals to seek medical attention or take preventative medications.

The current state of smartwatch health tracking

The world of smartwatches is no stranger to innovation. Today’s models can monitor an impressive range of health metrics, including heart rate, blood oxygen levels, sleep patterns, and activity. Some smartwatches can even detect falls and send emergency alerts, demonstrating a shift toward proactive health management. Make no mistake, spotting and preventing potential health issues before they escalate is the future.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Of course, it’s crucial to remember that smartwatches aren’t foolproof medical devices. The accuracy of their health data can be affected by things like how you wear the device or even sudden movements. No doubt, in the coming years the accuracy of such devices should improve further.

The exciting promise of wearable tech

The potential applications of wearable tech extend far beyond predicting heart problems. This technology could pave the way for early detection of a wide range of health issues, giving people the power to manage their wellbeing proactively.

The future of wearables is super exciting! Imagine if they could predict heart problems like AFib. That’s a huge first step toward devices that really protect our health. We don’t know exactly when this will hit your Apple Watch or Garmin, but one thing’s for sure: technology is always getting better. Get ready for even more amazing (and maybe even life-saving) stuff from wearables in the future!

Source: Patterns via Notebookcheck

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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