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According to a retrospective study, smartwatches can detect arrhythmia events in children, including events that are not generally captured with ambulatory monitors. The study presented in Communications Medicine examined medical records for 145 patients under 18 years old and documented potential arrhythmias that were identified by an Apple Watch. Recordings were captured when the patients believed that their heart rhythm was abnormal. Scott Ceresnak, MD, director, of the Pediatric Electrophysiology Program, Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, and colleagues confirmed arrhythmias in 41 patients (28%) with a mean age of 13.8 years. The arrythmias included: 36 supraventricular tachycardia (88%), 3 ventricular tachycardia (7%), 1 heart block (2.5%), and 1 complex tachycardia (2.5%). 

One to watch: Wearable technology has potential for use in the pediatric space, but the current applications are only designed for adults. In an interview with Contemporary Pediatrics, Ceresnak said: “I think we have the right balance between using their watch appropriately, especially in patients who have symptoms, or even in patients who don’t have symptoms and have a degree of suspicion that the watch may be right.” He also cautioned against overinterpretation of the smartwatch data.

Smartwatches Show Promise in Detecting Arrhythmia in Kids