Smart Watches: New Heart Surgery Remote Monitors

Smartwatches just keep getting smarter: the latest versions can estimate your blood oxygen level and record an ECG (a measurement of your heart’s electrical activity). A new study suggests these sophisticated devices may provide a safe, accurate way to monitor people at home after they undergo a minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure.

The study included 100 people who had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, most of whom went home within a day or two after the procedure. All received a smartwatch that recorded their heart rate, steps, pulse, oxygen saturation, and an ECG measurement. During next 30 days, the smartwatch detected 29 of 38 heart-related problems — mostly heart rhythm abnormalities — among 34 participants.

The findings suggest that smartwatches could be an effective way to remotely monitor patients from home, say the authors, whose study was published March 29, 2022, in the Journal of the American Heart Association.