If you've used a smart fitness band or a smartwatch, you'll know that you have to consent to certain documents before you are allowed to utilize the services provided. One of the reminders users are given before consenting to any agreement is that these wrist wearables are not official substitutes for a real-time medical diagnosis: in other words, if you're using your wrist wearable to diagnose any medical condition, it's not meant for that.
In a recent case, though, the Fitbit Charge HR was used to help determine the extent of a man's medical condition -- the first case for wrist wearables to be deemed an official aid in medical diagnoses. The case concerned a 42-year-old New Jersey citizen who had a seizure at work and was rushed to the local emergency room. While there, it was discovered that he had a fast heartbeat, but his Fitbit Charge HR was used to determine that the man's fast heart rate was due to a sudden event, not a chronic condition.
How was this done? Doctors examined his heart rate on the wrist wearable, which showed that his normal heart rate was between 70 and 80 beats per minute (BPM). The seizure had made his heart rate jump to 140 to 160 BPMs, quite a jump from the norm. Fortunately, the increased heart rate wasn't a sign of an ongoing medical condition, but of a single event. Doctors were then able to perform the necessary medical procedure to help the patient recover.
Sure, it's been said that these wrist wearables aren't official medical devices, but they do serve a purpose when it comes to situations such as these. In the future, I have a feeling that the medical community may consider these devices more capable than they consider them currently.
Do you own a Fitbit Charge HR? Own any other Fitbit device? Have you found your health data useful? Let us know.