How Fitness Trackers Can Prevent Heart Attacks

In the near future, fitness trackers could double as heart-health trackers.
By Yana Yelina
Oct 11, 2016

Interest in fitness trackers, smart watches and other wearable devices with embedded pulsometers, heart-rate monitors and other sensor units is growing fast. According to research firm Statistica, the global market for smart wearables devices will be approximately $53.2 billion by 2019. And as for wearable devices in the health-care sector, in particular, the revenues are expected to reach $4.4 billion globally.

Beyond that, the global remote cardiac monitoring and rhythm market is supposed to exceed $26.6 billion by 2020, according to research conducted by Markets and Markets.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths annually. With this number expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, health-care providers are searching for ways to get individuals to better track their health and practice preventative health care.

Taking this into account, we should be looking at how consumers might use different types of wearables to track their heart health and monitor for symptoms that could be precursors to a stroke or cardiac arrest. Although wearables cannot replace cardiographs used in clinical diagnostic procedures, the majority of heart-rate monitors can generate vital and reliable statistics to individuals and their physicians. Even simple alerts, able to track abnormalities, can save a person's life.

The diagnostic tools required for analyzing heart rhythm or recognizing problematic patterns have traditionally been available only in clinical settings, such as in a hospital or doctor's office.

Yet, the sooner a patient receives medical attention, the better his or her chances are for survival. That's why we need tools that will allow us to anticipate heart attacks outside hospitals. Not only can wearable digital devices generate data that can enable individuals to practice preventative health care, but they can also be used to minimize the risk of false alarms, by generating data that individuals use to decipher real heart-related symptoms from acid indigestion or bronchial asthma which can also cause chest discomfort.

Thus, the growing popularity of heart-rate monitors for fitness tracking could have ancillary benefits for consumers.

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