Apple Watch keeps wrongfully detecting heart problems

According to newly published medical study



This year, smartwatches became a lot more health conscious. For example, both Apple and Fitbit unveiled more health trackers to help users detect unseen medical conditions. Of course, early technologies also come with a few glitches. According to a new medical report, the Apple Watch keeps wrongfully detecting heart problems.

The scientific study states that only around ten percent of the Apple Watch’s detections resulted in actual heart conditions. As a result, most of the users mistakenly went to the hospital after the Apple Watch’s warning, ending up with unnecessary hospital fees. In a statement to The Verge, the false positives also result in an overburdened healthcare system.

The false positives came from the Apple Watch’s tracker for atrial fibrillation, one of the more recent additions to the fitness tracker ecosystem. As such, some of the detections came from those already diagnosed with the condition.

The study monitored findings between December 2018 and April 2019. The monitored users came from several states: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Though the study is in the United States, the fitness tracker community spans across the globe.

Despite the study’s findings, it’s difficult to ignore a warning pushed on your wrist. Despite the burgeoning of current technology, a fitness tracker or a smartwatch primarily focus on activity during physical activities like working out. It still remains unknown how accurate a fitness tracker can help a user’s healthcare program.

That said, the study’s monitoring period ended last year. Since then, Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 6; Fitbit launched the Fitbit Sense; and Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 3. Only further studies will tell if the current generation is more accurate.

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch SE now official, has Family Setup


Study: Smartwatches can detect COVID-19 before symptoms

Even among asymptomatic people



Almost a year into the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re only just starting to patch those festering wounds. Still, even after everyone is hopefully vaccinated, we should still learn from the tempestuous period’s lessons. For example, the tech world, sidewinded by a torrent of innovations, are on their way to keeping some newfound health features, especially those accredited by health organization. According to a new study, smartwatches can detect COVID-19 before it manifests symptoms.

According to a Mount Sinai published in November and reported by CBS News, current smartwatch technology can detect subtle, almost imperceptible changes in a person’s heartbeat. Heart rate variability are potential symptoms of COVID-19, even among those who are asymptomatic.

The study’s authors conducted the tests between April and November last year. Most of the participants, health workers in Mount Sinai in New York, wore Apple Watches. Though Apple was certainly a huge player in the study, the company didn’t fund it.

Last year, smartwatch makers touted features that can reportedly detect the coronavirus, such as blood oxygen levels. At the time, however, the feature was still under extensive study. Now, with the study published now, smartwatches might not even need new features to detect the virus. Heart rate detection is already an essential feature in smartwatch technology.

With a study in the bag, smartwatch users might find a lot more use in their wearable devices.

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch Series 6 launches with Blood Oxygen Sensor

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CES 2021

Honor Band 6 and MagicBook Pro 2021 unveiled at CES

Launching soon in international markets



Honor is now an independent company and does not have any ties with Huawei. Despite the recent transition, the brand is back at CES and has announced two new products in its global portfolio — Honor Band 6 and MagicBook Pro.

The Honor Band 6 has a massive 1.47-inch AMOLED display with 2.5D curved glass on the top. The band looks like a watch due to the large display, finding a sweet spot that isn’t too small or too big. The left edge of the device has Honor branding embossed into the shell.

The fitness tracker has five health monitoring features, which include SpO2, heart rate, sleep, stress, and menstrual cycle. There are ten workout modes, with six of those detected automatically.

The Honor Band 6 leverages Bluetooth 5.0 and packs a 180mAh battery capable of delivering up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. It’s priced at CNY 249 (US$ 39), and sale is limited to China right now. However, we expect a gradual launch in other markets soon.

The MagicBook Pro has a 16.1-inch display, and Honor claims it has 100 percent sRGB coverage for color accuracy. Powering the laptop is Intel’s Core i5-10210U processor, coupled with the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU. Everything else remains the same as last year’s offering, including 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.

The battery is rated at 56Wh, and a 65W charger is provided along. It can go from zero to 50 percent within half an hour. And Honor says the laptop can deliver 11 hours of usage on a single charge. Honor has revealed its price yet, but we expect it to be around US$ 1,000. The company will announce availability details based on regions.

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CES 2021

MaskFone is a mask with a Bluetooth headset

The new “hands-free”



CES is all about technology, and enthusiasts from across the globe converge to witness the future. While foldable displays, wearables, and fitness-oriented gadgets are found in abundance, 2020 brought along a new trend due to the pandemic — masks. And Binatone’s MaskFone is one of them.

Binatone is a British company that’s infamous for making landline telephones and other legacy telecom equipment. It’s now looking to venture out of its comfort zone and has launched a mask that also incorporates a Bluetooth headset. Called the MaskFone, it’s aimed at people who have to take calls on-the-go and are at the frontline of the pandemic.

The MaskFone has a mic in the facepiece and two earbuds hanging on wires by the earloops. The mask is made of a water-resistant, breathable, and washable material and includes a pocket for PM2.5 filters, which block particles and pollutants. Binatone’s website says the headset has background noise isolation, which should help when you’re outdoors.

It also has Siri and Amazon integration so that you can play music with voice controls. The brand claims it can deliver playback for 12 hours on a single charge. So yes, you’ll also have to start charging your mask regularly.

The MaskFone is priced at US$ 49.99, and Binatone sells five N95 filters for US$ 19.99 or 30 PM2.5 filters for US$ 19.99.

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