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Diagnostic Utility of Smartwatch Technology for Atrial Fibrillation Detection – A Systematic Analysis

Background: Smartphone technologies have been recently developed to assess heart rate and rhythm, but their role in accurately detecting atrial fibrillation (AF) remains unknown. Objective: We sought to perform a meta-analysis using prospective studies comparing Smartwatch technology with current monitoring standards for AF detection (ECG, Holter, Patch Monitor, ILR). Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature search for prospective studies comparing Smartwatch technology simultaneously with current monitoring standards (ECG, Holter, and Patch monitor) for AF detection since inception to November 25th, 2019. The outcome studied was the accuracy of AF detection. Accuracy was determined with concomitant usage of ECG monitoring, Holter monitoring, loop recorder, or patch monitoring. Results: A total of 9 observational studies were included comparing smartwatch technology, 3 using single-lead ECG monitoring, and six studies using photoplethysmography with routine AF monitoring strategies. A total of 1559 patients were enrolled (mean age 63.5 years, 39.5% had an AF history). The mean monitoring time was 75.6 days. Smartwatch was non-inferior to composite ECG monitoring strategies (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.93 – 1.21, p=0.37), composite 12 lead ECG/Holter monitoring (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.62 – 1.30, p=0.57) and patch monitoring (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.84 - 1.94, p=0.24) for AF detection. The sensitivity and specificity for AF detection using a smartwatch was 95% and 94%, respectively. Conclusions: Smartwatch based single-lead ECG and photoplethysmography appear to be reasonable alternatives for AF monitoring.

Credits: Mehmet Ali Elbey, Daisy Young, Sri Harsha Kanuri, Krishna Akella, Ghulam Murtaza, Jalaj Garg, Donita Atkins, Sudha Bommana, Sharan Sharma, Mohit Turagam, Jayashree Pillarisetti, Peter Park, Rangarao Tummala, Alap Shah, Scott Koerber, Poojita Shivamurthy, Chandrasekhar Vasamreddy, Rakesh Gopinathannair, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy

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Introduction to AFib
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