Doctor Explains Apple Watch for Health? | Heart, Hearing & Cycle Tracking 👩⚕️
Join me as I discuss all the medical features of the Apple Watch Series 5 and how they can help keep you healthy.
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On average the heart pumps blood 60-100 times a minute. The Apple watch monitors the heart function and it does this by using a sensor on the back, for this to work accurately, during setup you need to enter in your height, weight, gender and age. It gives you an alert if your heart rate is too high or too low.
Having a high heart rate - over 100 beats a minute can be a sign of an irregular heart rhythm, otherwise known as an arrhythmia, An example of this is Atrial Fibrillation. This is where the heart pumps quickly in a chaotic manor which can then cause small plaques or clots to break off from vessels causing serious medical conditions such as a stroke or other heart conditions. So with this regard the Apple watch certainly is useful, in fact there has been cases reported of people being correctly diagnosed via the watch for Atrial Fibrillation, prompting them to seek medical attention and potentially saving their lives.
But what about a low heart rate? This is a heart rate under 60 beats per minute, this can be normal in some situations, for example an athlete may have a lower resting heart rate. Similarly some medications or illnesses such as an under-active thyroid can also cause a low heart rate. It is important that you discuss your target heart rate with your medical doctor so that you can accurately use your Apple watch.
People who have an abnormally high or low heart rate may also have symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness, lethargy, shortness or breath or fainting. Again if you do have these symptoms despite having a normal heart rate it is important to discuss this with your medical doctor and remember that the Apple Watch doesn’t check for all types of abnormal heart conditions.
You may have seen the ECG/ EKG function (electrocardiogram) on TV shows like Scrubs, House, Casualty or Holby City, where we put stickers onto your chest to have a look at the electrical activity of the heart. It helps us to determine any rhythm defects, whether you’ve had a recent heart attack or any structural problems related to having a murmur. This feature is yet to be released to Australia.
One of the new health features is the ability to monitor and track the regularity of periods and any associated symptoms. This is particularly useful in patients who have underlying medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or for those who are wishing to get pregnant or those going through the menopause.
Another new feature of the Apple watch is the noise application. Background noise ranges from 65-70 Decibels and doesn’t usually cause damage. Long term or repeated exposure to 85 decibels can cause damage, examples include motorbike or dirt bike.
We’ve all heard of step counts, step count this, step count that, 10,000 steps. We know that by having an active lifestyle, we’ll be healthier.
However, if you’re doing 10,000 steps a day and you’re eating KFC, Burger King, Bob’s Burgers, you’re probably not on the right track to having a healthy lifestyle.
The Apple Watch has a gyroscope and an accelerator and when a hard fall is detected an alert is sent to your watch. You can then press on the screen to say you’re ok, or if you remain immobile and don’t disable the alert after 60 seconds it will call the emergency services. This is particularly useful for certain groups of people, such as epileptics or the elderly.
As you can see the Apple watch has a number of medical features which have a number of benefits if used correctly. Please note however, that the Apple watch nor the contents of this video are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical condition.
Thanks for watching and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments section below.
Take care and stay healthy 😊
Dr Nora 💉
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