Smartwatch with electrocardiogram or ECG feature is becoming the new must for health-conscious and tech savvy individuals in India. The feature grabbed headlines after Apple Watch’s ECG app successfully saved a 61- year-old’ life in the country.
R Rajhans, a retired pharma professional had suddenly felt unwell earlier this year in March 2020. His son, Siddharth had earlier gifted him an Apple smartwatch with the ECG functionality. So, he decided to check his ECG on his Series 5 Apple Watch.
Siddharth who is currently studying in Harvard University added that the smartwatch reported R Rajhans getting arrhythmia signals (or irregular heartbeat) at night. Later, when he consulted with his doctor, lab reports diagnosed that he was suffering from a low ejection fraction. Doctors recommended immediate heart surgery to replace his Mitral Valve.
Apple Watch Series 5 ECG Feature Saves Life
However, the surgery was delayed due to the circumstances caused by the pandemic. But, Rajhans continued to monitor his ECG on a regular basis through his Apple Watch. Siddharth further credited the Apple Watch for detecting irregular heart rhythm prior to the Valve failure Echo-cardiograph.
Indian Express quoted Siddharth saying, “The idea of having a device like Apple Watch is to strike a balance between using tech and medical awareness in order to take charge of our parent’s lives. It saved my dad’s life. It’s a life-changing product.”
Tim Cook responds wishing father a speedy recovery
Post the successful heart surgery earlier this month, Siddharth also wrote an email to Apple CEO, Tim Cook expressing his gratitude. The tale soon made the headlines after Cook responded wishing the father a speedy recovery.
Apple CEO wrote, “Siddharth, thank you for sharing this. I am happy to note that your father received medical attention in time and I hope he’s feeling better now. Our team will connect with you.”
Smartwatch with ECG Feature in India
The popularity of smartwatches are quickly growing in India. But, most manufacturers including Oppo are yet to launch their ECG smartwatch variants in the country. Thus, Apple Watch Series 4 and the above models continue to be a popular choice among limited options. But, its expensive price tag makes it unaffordable for a large section of the Indian market. Apple Watch Series 5 is currently priced at Rs 47,900.
In case, you are looking to buy more affordable smartwatches with ECG functionality in the country, you may want to consider MevoFit or Techiso smartwatches. Techiso ECG+PPG Smart Fitness Smartwatch is currently priced at just Rs 3,499 while MevoFit Race-Thrust ECG Smart Watch variant is available at Rs. 6,999.
Smartwatch ECG – Effective Red Flag But Not Lab Equivalent
Notably, it isn’t the first time when a smartwatch has proven to be a boon for the patient. Thanks to the improved functionalities, a smartwatch with ECG can now send notifications in case of irregular heart rhythm. It can efficiently facilitate early detection of Atrial fibrillation, which is in turn among the leading causes of heart stroke.
But, it is also worth noting that ECG functionality in a smartwatch is not equivalent or comparable to a clinical lab’s diagnostics. ECG procedure at a medical lab/ hospital involves 12 leads while products like Apple Watch take a single lead reading.
Thus, a wrist-ECG does not compare with thorough examination at a diagnostic lab. However, it has often proven helpful it in detecting early signs of atrial fibrillation or irregular heart rhythm. Thus, it is still quite relevant for early detection of severe heart conditions.