WEB EXTRA: What cardiologists think of the Apple Watch 4 ‘life-saving’ features

Local News

SALT LAKE, Utah (News4Utah) — The new Apple Watch Series 4 can track your heart and has an electrocardiogram function. Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein, Interventional Cardiologist at Intermountain Medical Center weighs in on the new FDA cleared Apple Watch Series 4 and its limited ability to monitor your heart.

Dr. Muhlestein, ‘In general I think it’s a great idea. I think it gives the power, what we can find out about, to the patients and sometimes we need to find it rapidly into the patients’ hand. That being said, we have to be careful and done appropriately. I think it’s a great idea. One example is sometimes patients are asymptomatic and develop a heart problem. They may be off doing something and don’t know what to do about it. But they just happen to have the watch and check. It’s exciting.’

The new watch comes with a $400 price tag. Dr. Muhelstein is already looking ahead to improvements and the next generation.

Dr. Muhlestein, ‘This electrocardiogram has the potential, it needs to be modified to diagnose heart attacks. But that concept of having it right there and available. If you wait very long at all, you are more likely to die from a heart attack. If you get immediate care you can live a lot longer and do better. Time is of the essence. 40-50% of heart attacks occur before the patient ever had warning signs.’

So how does it work?

‘The watch has a lead on the bottom connected to your arm. To do an EKG you have to have 2 leads. You just touch the watch. It’s hard to diagnosis with one lead. You need 2 leads.’

What’s the downside?  Some doctors have already pointed out. 

Dr. Muhlestein, ‘totally healthy people may misinterpreted it and get worried and do something or flood the doctors’ offices. If someone is totally healthy it’s not necessary to check your electrocardiogram. I’m excited, the time saved can save your life.’

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