Wearables: The pros and cons of health tracking

Karlin Lillington: Devices can be lifesavers, but may also lead to unnecessary medical visits

Wearables are handy for tracking activity and fitness, but even the best do so at varying levels of accuracy. Photograph: iStock

Wearables are handy for tracking activity and fitness, but even the best do so at varying levels of accuracy. Photograph: iStock

“Is that a Series 4?” a cardiologist asked me, with evident interest. In the course of a conversation last year, he’d noticed I was wearing an Apple Watch.

No, I confessed; I’d opted for the cheaper Series 3. He looked disappointed, noting that alas, my model lacked the ECG function. This takes an accurate 30-second measurement of heart rate and rhythm, as opposed to the more basic heart monitoring of my model and most other fitness wearables.

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