Devices & Diagnostics, Patient Engagement

Topol: Apple Watch helps colleague’s patient self-diagnose heart condition

Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health in San Diego and director of the Scripps Translational Research Institute, is creating yet another buzz on Twitter with a post about patient-generated data from an Apple Watch.

Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health in San Diego and director of the Scripps Translational Research Institute, is creating yet another buzz on Twitter with this post about patient-generated data from an Apple Watch.

After two weeks online, this tweet had been retweeted 130 times and favorited 84 times.

But Apple’s new consumer-oriented gadget is not without its skeptics in healthcare. Notably, self-described “digital health futurist” Maneesh Juneja posed this pertinent question today:

The immediate thought is that the question is pretty rhetorical, since very few cardiologists would. However, clinical validation or not, the dizziness alone should be enough for a patient and a cardiologist to be concerned, no? As Topol said, the other physician confirmed the self-diagnosis, presumably with clinically validated medical devices.

Without the data from the Apple Watch, would the patient even have taken the time to Google the symptoms and call the doctor? Despite the name, sick sinus syndrome is a heart arrhythmia that can in fact necessitate a pacemaker.