Newswise — It never hurts to be alert when it comes to your heart, and with the rise in popularity of smartwatches, people of all ages are taking advantage of heart monitoring technology.  But is it actually useful or just another notification nuisance?

While there are many different permutations of digital wearable technology, explains interventional cardiologist Henry Sun, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular
Institute at LifeBridge Health, the Apple Watch has gotten more attention because of its atrial fibrillation (AFIB) and arrhythmia detection capability that’s offered with
its newer generation watches. In addition to AFIB, other smartwatch brands can also monitor pulse rate, blood pressure and more.

Not everyone needs a smartwatch to monitor their heart health, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some peace of mind that’s only an arm’s length away.
If you’re interested in monitoring your heart health, here are some benefits to using a smartwatch:

Heart Tracing
Are you an anxious individual? Smartwatches that have heart-tracing capabilities could help you pinpoint when you’re experiencing heart palpitations (racing,
pounding, skipping) or related symptoms. This can be a good source of feedback to present to your doctor for a further medical investigation.

Atrial Fibrillation Device
If you have concerns about an irregular heartbeat, some smartwatches alert you when it senses an abnormality. Dr. Sun also suggests taking this information to
your doctor if you’re concerned. In this instance, it might be helpful to get a more medical-grade monitor to wear for an extended period of time.

Validation for Heart Concerns
Some patients with AFIB are treated with what’s called a “pill-in-the-pocket” approach: having an at-the-ready prescription medication they can take at the
onset of an episode. Often, a smartwatch can validate those circumstances to determine when medication is needed.

Dr. Sun says he’s had patients come in and show him the heart data that their smartwatch recorded before their visit. “I take the time to go over the watch’s
findings with them because it can actually be helpful for diagnosing and treating certain conditions,” he says. “Sometimes you can just tell that it’s a lot of noise,
and other times, it can actually be a significant sign that something needs to be addressed. I think it’s useful technology that only has room to improve.”