Smartwatches can pick up abnormal heart rhythms in kids, Stanford Medicine study finds

Jan. 3, 2024
Apple watches have some advantages over traditional ways of diagnosing cardiac arrythmias in children but need more validation, finds a Stanford Medicine study.

Smartwatches can help physicians detect and diagnose irregular heart rhythms in children, according to a new study from the Stanford School of Medicine. 

The finding comes from a survey of electronic medical records for pediatric cardiology patients receiving care at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. The study was published online Dec. 13 in Communications Medicine.

Over a four-year period, patients’ medical records mentioned “Apple Watch” 145 times. Among patients whose medical records mentioned the smartwatch, 41 had abnormal heart rhythms confirmed by traditional diagnostic methods; of these, 29 children had their arrythmias diagnosed for the first time.

The paper showed that the smartwatches appear to help detect arrhythmias in kids, suggesting that it would be useful to design versions of the smartwatch algorithms based on real-world heart rhythm data from children. 

Stanford release