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sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
My mother is very ill. She has suffered half a dozen cardiac arrests and has had a major stroke. She has global aphasia caused by that stroke, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, and overall valvular damage, among other things. She now has an artificial cardiac valve. Her heart needs to be monitored in frequent intervals.

That led me to contemplate whether it might not be a good idea to buy her an iPhone and an Apple watch.
So, my question is whether anyone here is using the Apple watch to monitor and document their heart activities for medical purposes? I don't mean for the watch to replace professional analysis, but I am wondering whether the Apple watch could be a useful "companion" and a potential "life-saver"?

What are your thoughts/experiences?
 

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
555
If heart rate capture is the top priority, then the AW may not be the best choice for a few reasons.
  • Other devices offer continuous HR capture
  • Other devices offer longer battery life for sleep monitoring and general lower ownership impact
  • Other devices offer better native tools for seeing HR trends
  • Other devices are more compact and may be more comfortable for extended wear
  • Other devices are just plain simpler to get to information from raw data
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,602
3,719
Well....this is an interesting question. My short answer is a no, my longer answer is why. I don't think at this point with the offered application of the watch it would be a life saver in the way that you might be hoping for. I feel like you want an indication of a change with alert but what you will get instead is a recording of the change in condition. I don't think that would be helpful in the way you're looking for. Also, would she manage the charging of the watch on a regular basis or would that be you? Who will be available on a regular basis to watch for the change?

If however, she will be doing the upkeep and will be the one to look at her heart rate and react after verification then you might be on to something. My only concern is you investing in a device that will perform some of the functions but is not listed as a medical device. I would have to recommend at this point a device that is medical in nature but perhaps an affordable option to the hospital equivalent machines. As much as I like my watch I just would not depend on it if it was all that indicated my well being. Day-to-day activity recording, yes. Notifications, weather, GPS, etc, yes. Medical life/death indicator, no.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
If heart rate capture is the top priority, then the AW may not be the best choice for a few reasons.
  • Other devices offer continuous HR capture
  • Other devices offer longer battery life for sleep monitoring and general lower ownership impact
  • Other devices offer better native tools for seeing HR trends
  • Other devices are more compact and may be more comfortable for extended wear
  • Other devices are just plain simpler to get to information from raw data

Thank you for your input. What other devices are you referring to? I have no problem looking at other options, it doesn't have to be the AW.
 

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
555
Thank you for your input. What other devices are you referring to? I have no problem looking at other options, it doesn't have to be the AW.
It is not officially a health device, but the Fitbit Charge HR does continuous HR capture and has a great phone and web UI. Additionally, it will sync to both phone and computer. So, if your mom is wearing it, you can see her HR data remotely via the web. I have a ton of friends with these and they love them.
 
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sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
Well....this is an interesting question. My short answer is a no, my longer answer is why. I don't think at this point with the offered application of the watch it would be a life saver in the way that you might be hoping for. I feel like you want an indication of a change with alert but what you will get instead is a recording of the change in condition. I don't think that would be helpful in the way you're looking for. Also, would she manage the charging of the watch on a regular basis or would that be you? Who will be available on a regular basis to watch for the change?

If however, she will be doing the upkeep and will be the one to look at her heart rate and react after verification then you might be on to something. My only concern is you investing in a device that will perform some of the functions but is not listed as a medical device. I would have to recommend at this point a device that is medical in nature but perhaps an affordable option to the hospital equivalent machines. As much as I like my watch I just would not depend on it if it was all that indicated my well being. Day-to-day activity recording, yes. Notifications, weather, GPS, etc, yes. Medical life/death indicator, no.

Great post, thank you!

Yes, she uses an iPad and also has a smartphone, so she is familiar with the use of gadgets, but I'd have to do the analysis as the global aphasia has deeply impacted her reading abilities (temporarily). However, the maintenance of the watch and phone wouldn't pose a problem since she lives with me and, as I work from home, I take care of her and have an eye on her 24/7 anyway and thus would do whatever is needed (documentation, interpretation, etc.).

I definitely wouldn't want to depend on it but was somewhat hoping that this device (or an alternative) could be an addition rather than a substitute for actual, professional monitoring.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
It is not officially a health device, but the Fitbit Charge HR does continuous HR capture and has a great phone and web UI. Additionally, it will sync to both phone and computer. So, if your mom is wearing it, you can see her HR data remotely via the web. I have a ton of friends with these and they love them.

Thank you for the recommendation! I'll definitely look into it.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,253
Jacksonville, Florida
Great post, thank you!

Yes, she uses an iPad and also has a smartphone, so she is familiar with the use of gadgets, but I'd have to do the analysis as the global aphasia has deeply impacted her reading abilities (temporarily). However, the maintenance of the watch and phone wouldn't pose a problem since she lives with me and, as I work from home, I take care of her and have an eye on her 24/7 anyway and thus would do whatever is needed (documentation, interpretation, etc.).

I definitely wouldn't want to depend on it but was somewhat hoping that this device (or an alternative) could be an addition rather than a substitute for actual, professional monitoring.

I agree with the other poster and suggest you get a FitBit charge HR or the Surge. The Surge is just too big likely so the Charge HR is my pick. These two devices have the best HR sensors on the market and you could log onto the device's Internet site and see a complete HR history for 24 hours with ease.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,586
43,576
OP, is there any medical devices she can get? I think the Fitbit Charge or Surge are great suggestions but if you're looking for some medical help and monitoring, I would think an exercise product may not be the best.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,371
1,160
The only advantage the AW provides in this situation (that I can see) is the ability to make a call from the watch if she were in trouble and needed help.
 

tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,154
2,898
Connecticut, USA
I don't mean for the watch to replace professional analysis, but I am wondering whether the Apple watch could be a useful "companion" and a potential "life-saver"?

What are your thoughts/experiences?

Here's a recent story about a person who used his watch to help him with a potential heart attack.

http://qz.com/472522/how-the-apple-watch-may-have-saved-this-mans-life/

I think the whole area of personalized medicine on your smartphone is really in its infancy, but is only going to grow in the next couple years. I believe the smartphone and now the companion watch will be a big part of that. Consider a smartphone app that, in conjunction with the watch, monitors your heart rate and if it notices a drop or irregular beat, can call 911 and/or your doctor. Amazing!

http://ww2.kqed.org/futureofyou/2015/05/06/can-a-smartwatch-help-prevent-a-heart-attack/
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
Here's a recent story about a person who used his watch to help him with a potential heart attack.

http://qz.com/472522/how-the-apple-watch-may-have-saved-this-mans-life/

I think the whole area of personalized medicine on your smartphone is really in its infancy, but is only going to grow in the next couple years. I believe the smartphone and now the companion watch will be a big part of that. Consider a smartphone app that, in conjunction with the watch, monitors your heart rate and if it notices a drop or irregular beat, can call 911 and/or your doctor. Amazing!

http://ww2.kqed.org/futureofyou/2015/05/06/can-a-smartwatch-help-prevent-a-heart-attack/

Thank you for that. Yes, I do think that smartwatches do have a lot of potential. I am wondering if the watch itself is already capable and that it's just the software end that is still (and naturally) somewhat behind. I'm still not sure what to do. The examples above show that it can be a useful companion, even if not 100% reliable and certainly not a substitute.

I guess I'll simply need to be patient and watch this market.
 

applicant

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2015
11
5
My mother is very ill. She has suffered half a dozen cardiac arrests and has had a major stroke. She has global aphasia caused by that stroke, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, and overall valvular damage, among other things. She now has an artificial cardiac valve. Her heart needs to be monitored in frequent intervals.

That led me to contemplate whether it might not be a good idea to buy her an iPhone and an Apple watch.
So, my question is whether anyone here is using the Apple watch to monitor and document their heart activities for medical purposes? I don't mean for the watch to replace professional analysis, but I am wondering whether the Apple watch could be a useful "companion" and a potential "life-saver"?

What are your thoughts/experiences?

Her primary care physician will be able to recommend something to you that will be suitable for her.
 

Tom G.

macrumors 68020
Jun 16, 2009
2,340
1,389
Champaign/Urbana Illinois
"I bet that story happened before 1.0.1. haha."


The date on that story is August 5, which is about the same date that I originally saw it on line. The story does not state in it when the incidence actually occurred, but it most likely occurred after 1.0.1 came out, since it did come out rather early in the life of the :apple: Watch.
 
Last edited:

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
555
The date on that story is August 5, which is about the same date that I originally saw it on line. The story does not state in it when the incidence actually occurred, but it most likely occurred after 1.0.1 came out, since it did come out rather early in the life of the :apple: Watch.
The original story story was 7/28, and Ken Robson says he noticed the symptoms in mid-June. 1.0.1 was released 5/29.

My comment was meant for humor, because it is hard to believe that 1.0.1 produced enough useful HR readings for a diagnosis. Who knows, maybe Robson didn't update or maybe the doctor looked at the prevalence of 1.0 readings from the watch.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
OP, is there any medical devices she can get? I think the Fitbit Charge or Surge are great suggestions but if you're looking for some medical help and monitoring, I would think an exercise product may not be the best.

There are no medical mobile devices available that would aid her. All and any monitoring needs to be done in a clinic/hospital.

Maybe now isn't the time, but as smartwatches or digital wristbands advance, perhaps researchers will be willing to invest into developing useful medical companions for home use. That'd be so grand. Here in Germany, health insurance companies are starting to support the use of fitness apps and even take over a % of a patient's cost/investment of certain apps, so I think we're on our way to having more scientifically approved and tried tools for domestic use.
 
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