At the Crossroads! Time to Start Taking Smartwatches Seriously

      Patients have demonstrated a growing interest in using wearable devices, particularly smartwatches, to monitor and improve their cardiovascular wellness. Wearable devices are now one of the fastest growing sectors of the technology industry, and big technology companies, such as Apple (Apple Watch), Google (Fitbit), and Samsung (Galaxy), have engineered smartwatch features that are capable of monitoring biometrics, such as heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep. These devices hold significant potential to impact the relation between cardiologists and their patients, but concerns exist about device trustworthiness to detect pertinent data points and deliver alerts with accuracy. How these devices’ features will interplay with cardiologists’ workflow has also yet to be defined and requires thoughtful implementation. Furthermore, the success of smartwatches as medical devices is dependent on patients’ continuous use. Keeping patients engaged with their devices through leveraging behavioral factors may lead to achieving and optimizing healthcare goals. Socioeconomic disparities and privacy concerns are other barriers in the path forward. Cardiovascular professional societies are uniquely poised to help impact how these devices are eventually accepted and used in everyday practice. In conclusion, engagement and collaboration with big tech companies will help guide how this market grows.
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