Apple persists and signs: everything its connected watch does is designed with the help of specialists in the health sector to ensure the best precision and the greatest benefit for its user. And if more and more health experts are concerned about its inaccuracies, it’s because more and more people are wearing it, because according to the manufacturer, the Apple Watch is “at least 80%” accurate. .
The Cupertino, Calif., company is releasing a rather comprehensive report on Wednesday morning on the work done since its first Apple Watch went on the market in 2015, not only by its engineers, but also by researchers and health specialists, to try to extract the information most likely to serve the user.
“Our vision has always been to create technologies that are based on science, that equip people by giving them even more information and that have a role in protecting their health”, writes in this report the director of operations of Apple, Jeff Williams. “We want people to be firmly in the driver’s seat of their health with relevant, sensible advice. »
The report published by Apple on the role of its Apple Watch as a health technology comes just days after Quebec specialists told the To have to that they were beginning to worry about the importance that this accessory was taking on in the perception that its users had of their own state of health.
“We have had a new diagnosis in the emergency room for some time: a defective Apple Watch”, also shared on Twitter the family doctor in the emergency room of Barrie Memorial Hospital Sébastien Marin. “A lot of people come in stressed because their Apple Watch shows heart rates at 140 [battements par minute]but when measured, it is 60 [battements]. »
“A lot of good” too
The Apple Watch and other smartwatches aren’t worth a trip to the doctor. Apple agrees. Several factors can be taken into account for a measurement to be exact or completely aberrant. But the American multinational is satisfied to see that at least its objective is achieved, even when people worry for nothing, since they go to consult a health professional.
Apple collects a large amount of usage data from its customers to test the accuracy of its health apps. The company ensures two things: first, only data for which users explicitly give their consent is shared with Apple or third parties. Then, this data allows him to estimate the accuracy of the main functions of his Apple Watch, which are greater than 80%.
Asked about cases of false positives, Apple indicates that the irregular heartbeat alert is justified more than 80% of the time, and that other measurements related to the cardiovascular system reach an accuracy close to 90%. The electrocardiogram integrated into the newer Apple Watches also has an accuracy of around 90%, indicates the manufacturer.
Apple cites cases where these alerts have saved lives. Under certain conditions, the watch can detect risks of atrial fibrillation early enough to prevent this cardiac disorder from degenerating into a more serious form of arrhythmia.
It does not exculpate connected watches that produce erroneous alerts or cause anxiety among some users. But for Apple, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.