“Siri, do I have AFib?” According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a smartwatch can accurately warn about atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat. The study, which involved about 419,000 Apple Watch users, found the device accurately detected the condition in more than a third of participants who received notifications of an irregular pulse. Early detection of heart issues can be critical.

When someone has an ischemic stroke – the most common type of stroke, where a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked – fast treatment to inject the clot-busting drug alteplase is considered essential. Generally, it has been thought the drug needed to be used within 4 1/2 hours of the onset of symptoms. But another study from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests some patients might be helped even if they receive the drug up to nine hours after symptoms begin.

Ultimately, keeping tabs on your health or the health of a loved one with digital tools and apps that track heart rate, blood pressure, fitness, and endurance can reveal a lot about the efficacy of medications, the need for lifestyle adjustments, and other treatments. Tracking metrics is also a great way to have more productive and accurate conversations with your or your loved one’s healthcare team.

For more info on this topic: https://www.franciscanhealth.org/news-and-events/news/new-atrial-fibrillation-afib-apps-track-irregular-heartbeats