Modern technology has influenced innovations in the healthcare industry intended toward improving access to healthcare, make healthcare affordable, and offer quality care to patients for a quick and full recovery. The innovations are across different medical fields and are designed to answer to the needs of each field. A significant innovation is the wearable ECG monitors, a unique technology of sensors designed to monitor electrocardiogram (ECG). The monitors check the heart’s functioning by measuring the heart’s electrical activity (Steinhubl, et al 2018). In 2018, Apple Inc. introduced ECG monitors in its smartwatch, which is the Apple Watch Series 4. The product received the “Over the counter” approval, thus increasing the accessibility to ECG monitors among consumers at an affordable rate.
The monitors have become popular due to their ability to identify Afib (atrial fibrillation). Atrial fibrillation is a severe cardiac arrhythmia that affects a high population in the USA, requiring constant monitoring and treatment. The condition occurs without the prevalence of symptoms, thus subjecting patients to high risks of stroke, heart failure, and in extreme instances, death. Additionally, the ECG monitors, records and sends the hearts’ electrical activity to the doctor who can detect Afib’s presence and offer treatment, thus maintaining the heart health of the patient (Al-Alusi, Ding, McManus, & Lubitz, 2019).
ECG wearable devices use flashing LEDS that infiltrate the skin, detecting blood flow and rhythm to form an algorithm that produces the wearer’s heart rate information. More so, the algorithm explains the state of heart muscle tissue and conduction system, which help in detecting heart attack (Ip, 2019). Although the monitors are useful, their efficiency has been questioned as they can give negative measures, especially among people with underlying medical conditions. The monitors may lead to tension and anxiety if incorrectly interpreted by the user. Users have been advised to consult their doctors regularly for proper interpretation and further treatment. Innovations continue to improve healthcare globally, and people are encouraged to utilize them often.
Al-Alusi, M. A., Ding, E., McManus, D. D., & Lubitz, S. A. (2019). Wearing your heart on your sleeve: The future of cardiac rhythm monitoring. Current cardiology reports, 21(12), 158.
Ip, J. E. (2019). Wearable devices for cardiac rhythm diagnosis and management. Jama, 321(4), 337-338.
Steinhubl, S. R., Waalen, J., Edwards, A. M., Ariniello, L. M., Mehta, R. R., Ebner, G. S., … & Topol, E. J. (2018). Effect of a home-based wearable continuous ECG monitoring patch on detection of undiagnosed atrial fibrillation: the mSToPS randomized clinical trial. Jama, 320(2), 146-155.