Apple Watch Can Help Identify Arrhythmias in Children

In 29 percent of patients, traditional ambulatory cardiac monitors did not detect arrhythmias
Apple Watch Can Help Identify Arrhythmias in Children
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- An Apple Watch can record arrhythmia events in children, including those that are not necessarily detected on traditional ambulatory cardiac monitors, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Communications Medicine.

Aydin Zahedivash, M.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues analyzed patients aged 18 years and younger with signs of an arrhythmia documented by an Apple Watch and examined the role of the Apple Watch in arrhythmia diagnosis.

The researchers identified 145 electronic medical record identifications of Apple Watch; arrhythmias were confirmed in 41 patients (28 percent) at a mean age of 13.8 ± 3.2 years. These arrhythmias included supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), VT, heart block, and wide complex tachycardia (88, 7, 2.5, and 2.5 percent, respectively). In 34 of 36 patients with SVT, invasive electrophysiology confirmed diagnosis. For 29 patients (71 percent), the Apple Watch helped prompt a workup resulting in a new arrhythmia diagnosis. Traditional ambulatory cardiac monitors were worn by 35 patients (85 percent); in 10 patients (29 percent), these monitors did not detect arrhythmias. Twenty-five percent of the 73 patients who used an Apple Watch for recreational or self-directed heart rate monitoring sought care due to device findings without any arrhythmias identified.

"The wearable market is exploding, and our kids are going to use them," senior author Scott R. Ceresnak, M.D., also from Stanford University, said in a statement. "We want to make sure the data we get from these devices is reliable and accurate for children. Down the road, we'd love to help develop pediatric-specific algorithms for monitoring heart rhythm."

Two authors disclosed ties to industry, including Apple Inc.

Abstract/Full Text

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