Although Apple officially warns against it, the Apple Watch can also detect heart attacks. This is the conclusion reached by a research group at the Texas Heart Institute. However, the Apple Watch has to be used in a slightly different way because it cannot be recognized on the wrist.


Apple Watch could detect heart attacks

If Apple has its way, the Apple Watch can, among other things, detect atrial fibrillation in the wearer. If this is detected or a heart rhythm problem identified, the watch warns accordingly. But the Apple Watch can do even more, as US researchers have now confirmed. Contrary to what Apple has claimed so far, the watch can actually detect a heart attack – but not on the wrist (source: Texas Heart Institute Journal).

Researchers from the Texas Heart Institute around Emerson C. Perin have now published a study on the subject. According to the scientists, the ECG measurement that has been available since the Apple Watch Series 4 can also be used with its one-channel version detect heart attacks of the wearer. Actually, such a diagnosis should be recognized with a 12-channel device in which the sensors are attached to different parts of the body. This is exactly what can be simulated via an Apple Watch, the researchers write.

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In theory, at least, the sensors on the bottom of the Apple Watch can be sufficient to detect a heart attack put on other parts of the body. Such a review across the thigh, ankle and lower abdomen provides encouraging results, according to the researchers. However, owners of an Apple Watch should not rely entirely on this. There is a real risk of misdiagnosis.

Apple recently introduced watchOS 9. Details in the video:

Apple introduces watchOS 9

Detecting Heart Attacks: What Does Apple Do?

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According to Apple, Apple Watches are explicit not suitable for detecting heart attacks. It is unclear whether this will remain the case with future generations of the watch. In any case, Apple would have to seek approval from health authorities. The problem of possible misdiagnoses could prevent Apple from officially introducing the function.