December 13, 2023

Smartwatches detect irregular heart rhythms in kids

Editor’s Note

Smartwatches can detect and diagnose irregular heart rhythms in children that standard physician monitoring may miss, Medical Xpress reports. Published on December 13 in Communications Medicine, the findings are based on a survey of 4 years’ worth of electronic medical records for pediatric cardiology patients at Stanford Medicine Children's Health.

For patients whose medical records mentioned using a smartwatch, 41 children had abnormal heart rhythms that were confirmed using traditional diagnosis; of these, 29 children had their arrhythmias diagnosed for the first time.

Traditional diagnostic methods involve adhesive monitors. However, patient experiences indicate these devices are prone to falling off or causing irritation. Even if sticker monitors remain in place, they may fail to capture unpredictable arrhythmias even after a few weeks.

Although researchers say the survey findings for smartwatch usage are promising, they emphasize that these devices are generally designed for adults. Smartwatch algorithms based on real-world heart rhythm data for children could further improve outcomes.

Live chat by BoldChat