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No, An Apple Device Won't Tell You If You're Having A Heart Attack

Feb 17 2014, 12:13pm CST | by

No one knows for sure but Apple appears to be strongly interested in adding medical applications and technologies to its current and future products. We know that Apple has patented a heart sensor ...

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23 weeks ago

No, An Apple Device Won't Tell You If You're Having A Heart Attack

Feb 17 2014, 12:13pm CST | by

No one knows for sure but Apple appears to be strongly interested in adding medical applications and technologies to its current and future products. We know that Apple has patented a heart sensor that could be incorporated in a future iPhone or iWatch, though it seems more likely that it would be used for security rather than health purposes. We also know that top Apple executives have met with FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg and top FDA device regulators, though the details of their discussion have not been disclosed.

But one new report on SF Gate is almost certainly wrong: an Apple device won’t be able to tell you if you’re about to have a heart attack.

 Apple is exploring ways to measure noise “turbulence” as it applies to blood flow. The company wants to develop software and sensors that can predict heart attacks by identifying the sound blood makes as it tries to move through an artery clogged with plaque, the source said.

Even with Apple’s astonishing $150 billion cash reservoir, this type of advance seems unlikely any time soon. Cardiovascular researchers have been working for decades trying to find better ways to accurately predict heart attacks. They’ve learned a lot over the years but there’s nothing that’s even close to clinical reality.

I asked a bunch of cardiologists for their thoughts. None thought very highly of the prospect.

Sameer Bansilal, a cardiologist at Mt. Sinai in New York, said:

While its enticing to imagine that the watch will magically predict heart attacks, the reality is that such sensors rely on surrogates such as heart rate, sympathetic tone and peripheral vascular resistance which can only provide part of the story, let alone predict a specific artery being clogged.

Dave Albert, the inventor of the AliveCor mobile ECG,

Heart Attacks occur most often when a coronary plaque ruptures, creating a clot and obstructing blood flow to the heart. This obstruction in the coronary arteries has NOTHING to do with turbulent blood flow in the radial or ulnar arteries in the wrist.

(The AliveCor is a great example of mobile health technology now available in the real world. Just last week the company announced that it had gained FDA clearance to market the device over-the-counter. Previously, purchase of the device had required a physician’s prescription.)

Even Eric Topol, a well-known cardiologist and technology evangelist who is often enthusiastic about new technology, thinks this method is unlikely to fulfill the hype. In a tweet he said, “We’d all like to get this done, but this method unlikely.”

But these negative remarks shouldn’t suggest that the converging trends of wearable computers and improved biosensors won’t be important. I suspect that new devices– in your pocket, on your wrist, in your eyeglasses– will eventually bring a new computing revolution, and there can be little question that health care will be transformed along with everything else. But for now I wouldn’t count on new technology to tell you when and if you are having a heart attack.

Source: Forbes Business

 
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7 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told to ...
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7 weeks ago

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PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern s ...
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7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in comp ...
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8 weeks ago

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Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Mi ...
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8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

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JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 mill ...
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8 weeks ago

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Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar S ...
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8 weeks ago

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Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) ...
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