Apple’s annual hardware event during the month of September was an absolute shocker. The announcements that surprised was not a new iPhone nor a thinner, next generation smart watch. It was the feature on the Apple Watch. Leaked details of the new iPhone models were quickly relegated to second tier headlines after Apple’s latest product announcement. People were excited about the fact that the new Apple Watch will come with a built-in (ECG) function.
“We’ve added electrodes into the back-sapphire crystal and the digital crown, allowing you to take an electrocardiogram,” said COO Jeff Williams. This delighted the crowd, eliciting one of the day’s biggest rounds of applause. This is the very first time that the ECG product is available directly to the consumers in such a manner.
Apple Watch 4 is the first of its kind of wearable gadget to incorporate this type of medical diagnostic technology. (Other devices such as the Fitbit typically measures blood flow by passing light through the skin. This form factor will be a breakthrough, but Apple’s revelation has been met with a mixed reception.)
There’s no exact perception on how common preventive ECG screening is in the US. However, according to a recent Journal of American Medicine, ECG examinations of unusual patients had become habitual features of annual physicals until professional societies ran cost/benefit analyses on the practice and started advising against it.
There is no evidence to show that using an ECG to screen people for cardiovascular problems ultimately makes them healthier. In fact, it’s not advised for screening people with no health problems because it could produce false positive results. It might show problems when none really exists in the person.
This will seek tension among healthy people to seek unnecessary, and potentially harmful treatments. This will benefit the services providing aid/treatment, as well as producing increased anxiety. For those who are at high risk of disease, ECG results might prove to be more beneficial as it could help the person in changing their lifestyle. It could alert them on what their present health condition is like. The risks involved in performing ECGs are minimal. Sensors attached to the skin detects the electrical signals heart produces, each time it beats.
The people is to decide whether or not if this feature will be a useful tool which will come in handy for everyone.