One of the main highlights of the fourth generation of Apple Watch, launched in 2018, is the ability to measure the user's heart rate using an electrical sensor and generate a graph of this data over time similar to an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Although it is accurate enough to detect arrhythmia or episodes of atrial fibrillation (A-fib), he is unable to diagnose a myocardial infarction, the popular “heart attack”, as the data is collected only at one point on the body. For the correct detection of a heart attack, a complete ECG is required, measuring at least three points, usually arms, legs and chest. 

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But Dr. Miguel Ángel Cobos Gil, from the Cardiovascular Institute of Hospital Clínico San Carlos in Madrid, Spain, proposed in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine a way to use Apple Watch to get results similar to a full ECG, which can speed up patient diagnosis.

The idea is to get a heart reading using the Apple Watch in the standard position on the wrist, and then move it to the ankle or anywhere else on the leg. Then, it should be placed on the chest to obtain the final reading. The researcher said the results were similar to those obtained with a standard ECG, meaning that they could be used to detect a heart attack.

However, according to the study's author, we must be cautious, since a wide range of clinical studies is needed to determine the role of these devices in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with known or suspected heart disease.

Source: Daily Mail