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Wearable devices: the pros and cons of health functions

If you've ever worn a technological device, or wearable tech, as this type of device is usually referred to - you've probably done so for sports-related reasons. Most of the owners of smartwatch and sport bands, in fact, justify their choice with the desire to keep track of their workouts, parameters such as heart rate or distance travelled running and, therefore, ultimately, with the willingness to monitor their lifestyle. In fact, the two components, fitness and health, are beginning to become both central to product design.

Electrocardiogram on devices: the pro

The real heart of the Apple Watch 4 revolution is in the hardware, which now has components that can trace an electrocardiogram and analyze its characteristics, but also learn to know who wears the device and then be able to understand if there are any major changes that could make you think of any physical problems. A conscious use of smartwatches can turn into a greater self-awareness and also in an optimization of training.
For example, keeping an eye on our heart rate during a indoor cycling or running session teaches us to listen to our bodies and understand if and how we improve. Not only that, but one of the new features introduced is the automatic detection of training, which for users of mobile applications such as MyWellness means being able to easily and automatically track what has been done in the gym or outdoors, with the advantage of then having all the data available on the "Health" app (from which MyWellness acquires and provides data), with the consequent possibility of having a complete overview of your physical status.
For professional athletes, the smartwatch and MyWellness mobile app combination even becomes a tool for building and sharing a history of progress from which to discuss with their coaches and athletic trainers and on the basis of which to optimize training sessions, in turn made available by trainers on MyWellness and immediately available to the user. This would trigger a virtuous circle that has in the monitoring of vital parameters one of its strengths.

Wearing a device that is able to track vital parameters, it is worth remembering, does not make us doctors. But it can make everyone a better sportsman and a healthier person.

What if there are cardiac anomalies?
WatchOS 5, the operating system mounted on the new Apple Watch, will also be able to detect irregular heart rates (very low, very high or in any case outside the norm) and - at least in the United States - will be able to immediately send a report with the track to their doctor.

Electrocardiogram: the cons

One of the "human limits" of wearable technology is its obsession with data. It seems trivial, but while it is correct to monitor them to improve or otherwise to keep an eye on their habits and evaluate the training done, on the other hand should not be overlooked the possibility of error that still accompanies these technologies. In other words, some surveys may still be unreliable. That's why, for example, the electrocardiogram generated by Apple Watch 4 has medical validity only in the United States: in fact, local agreements must be made, which is also the result of a joint review on the effectiveness of the technology used.
Not only that, but the average user who will use these services must be taken into account: is he a doctor? Is he a cardiologist? In almost all cases, no, and this means that he will not be able to scientifically read the results of the ECG. Translated into logistical terms, it could mean an increase in false alarms generated by incorrect data readings that would actually mean a higher number of people who go to the emergency room require specialist visits. Wearing a device that is able to track vital parameters, it is worth remembering, does not make us doctors. But it can make everyone a better sportsman and a healthier person.

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