Concerns new Apple watch will fuel patient anxiety


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Technology giant Apple has launched a new device which includes a number of "revolutionary" health monitoring features. However, some experts have suggested these could have a detrimental effect on patient anxiety. 

Amongst the key features of the Apple Watch Series 4 are a new accelerometer and gyroscope which are able to detect serious falls. The device will send the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to call emergency services. 

Users in the US will also be able to access an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using a new app which has been granted a de novo classification by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Susan Kim from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US has suggested, however, that the feature could increase patient anxiety. “Inappropriate, broad screening can lead to further inappropriate testing, which can lead to misappropriation of resources and, at worse, can lead to invasive testing or harm to the patient than would have normally occurred. I’ve definitely had patients with whom access to this kind of monitoring almost creates more anxiety in some ways," she said.