Accuracy of the Apple Watch 4 to Measure Heart Rate in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

February 5, 2020

Wearable wrist-monitors offer an unobtrusive way to acquire heart rate data in an efficient manner. Previous work in this field has focused on studying healthy subjects during exercise but has yet to assess the efficacy of these devices in patients suffering from common cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Objective The objective of this pilot study was to assess the accuracy of the Apple Watch heart rate monitor in fifty patients experiencing atrial fibrillation compared to telemetry. Results Results from this pilot clinical study demonstrated a correlation coefficient of 0.7 between all readings on the Apple Watch and telemetry. Furthermore, the Apple Watch assessed heart rate more accurately in patients who were in atrial fibrillation than in those that were not (rc = 0.86, patients in AF, vs. rc= 0.64, patients not in AF). Clinical Impact The presented data from this pilot study suggests that caution should be noted before using the Apple Watch 4 wearable wrist monitor to monitor heart rate in patients with cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation.

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