New wearable tech can predict worsening heart failure

Web Log: Study finds wearable sensor can forecast deterioration before doctors can

Wearable technology has become an increasingly popular way of monitoring health: from daily movement to how much deep sleep you achieve, all sorts of biometric data can be captured and analysed to find patterns and connections between your lifestyle and wellbeing.

Many of these wearables capture data on heart health. Apple Watch, for example, monitors BPM (beats per minute) and can flag an irregular heartbeat. Beyond this, research is being carried out on the usefulness of wearables for patients with heart failure – an important area considering an estimated 90,000 people in Ireland live with this condition.

A study led by the University of Utah Health in the US found that a new wearable sensor was able to predict worsening heart failure in the days leading up to hospitalisation. Researchers say this device could eventually help prevent up to one in three heart failure readmissions in the weeks following the patient’s initial discharge from hospital.

"This study shows that we can accurately predict the likelihood of hospitalisation for heart failure deterioration well before doctors and patients know that something is wrong," explained the study's lead author, Josef Stehlik, MD.