Advances in semiconductor technology allow for more people to have access to wearable cardiac monitors, such as the Fitbit and Apple Watch, to aid in health maintenance and promote fitness. More commonly known as heart rate monitors, these are devices designed to help track personal health baselines and goals. They can be worn unobtrusively and even fashionably on the wrist, chest, as a pulse monitor worn on the wrist, or are also included in a popular brand of headphone. They often communicate wirelessly with smartphone applications or other central programs to process, store, and display the information. These wearable technological advancements allow for more deliberate personal ownership of health by providing continuous monitoring and immediate feedback without having to pause life.

Many think these devices are just a fun way to track daily activity levels, but they can also a crucial component to identifying potential health problems. Despite possible inaccuracies due to the difficulty of capturing precise heart rate information from the wrist, they provide the user with baseline information that helps determine if a sudden fluctuation in heart rate is abnormal and should be discussed with a medical professional.

For example, a college student studying for exams suddenly had her resting heart rate jump from 84bpm to 210bpm. She was rushed to the hospital and it was discovered she had an undetected heart condition and would have died if she hadn’t been aware of the sudden change.

Events like this show the benefit in being aware of what is and is not normal for each individual person, even when the device is not up to the standard of medical-grade devices. Medical-grade devices are worn on the chest, over the heart, and detect electrical activity being transmitted through the heart muscle and making it contract. Wrist monitors use a light on the bottom of the device, next to the skin, that records a beat when the light changes. Any device that empowers individuals to monitor and take control of their health is beneficial, but for those with a suspected or known heart problem, it may be time to consider a more sophisticated wearable cardiac monitor, like the ones available from Medicomp. For more information on our wide range of portable cardiac monitoring devices.

contact Medicomp at 800-234-3278 (800-23-HEART).