Post Date: June 2, 2015

When it comes to telemedicine, the Apple Watch heart monitor may be one of the best products on the market today. Heartbeat monitors in watches and fitness tracking bands are not necessarily a new thing, but they are not always accurate. The Apple Watch stands out because it is creating clinical-quality results. What makes these watches so different are the biometric sensors built into them.

Accuracy Matters

Apple originally designed the watch to offer high-end, every accurate measurement tools for blood oxygen levels as well, but pulled back on this after accuracy concerns. However, when it comes to heart rate, it seems to be right on point. One engineer from SonoPlot, a plotting instrument company compared the watch’s heart rate monitor to that of the Mio 2, which creates EKG-quality results in a device worn on the risk. The results tracked very closely. The Mio 2, which has been scientifically proven to be accurate, seems to match the same quality in terms of functionality and accuracy.

Why Does It Work So Well?

While other heart rate monitors seem to provide high quality results, the Apple Watch stands out. It uses two LED lights and light-sensitive photodiodes to pinpoint the amount of blood flowing through the veins at any given time. The green LED lights pulse right down through the skin hundreds of times each second. Since a heartbeat creates a higher amount of blood flowing through the veins, the device senses the heart rate. The higher amount of blood absorbs less of the LED light than the lower amounts of blood, giving the device information. From this, the watch calculates the beats per minute.

As far as the oxygen sensors, the company was unsure if it could achieve the same level of accuracy due to hair, sweat, and dirt factors, and therefore does not guarantee its accuracy.

When it comes to telehealth, it is more efficient and effective than ever to not just know that your heart rate is changing on that run, but also that it is being monitored very accurately. Not only could this be effective in terms of fitness goals, but in telemedicine, where technology is leading the way in helping to diagnose, monitor, and treat a variety of medical conditions. With EKG-quality results, this is a device likely to be used in telehealth for years to come.