Smartwatches have become increasingly accurate health and fitness tools, so if you want to make the most of your wearable then it’s worth finding one with the right sensors.
For instance, a smartwatch with an ECG app will be able to detect irregular heart rhythms and help you get diagnosed. It’s also a good idea to check that your chosen watch can take blood oxygen levels, as this can tell you how well you’re acclimating when you travel to high altitudes.
Heart rate, also known as pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in one minute. This is a good indicator of your overall health and fitness, but it varies from person to person.
In addition, your heart rate is influenced by your mood and activity levels. It increases when you’re anxious or excited, then decreases during calm or restful times.
There are a variety of ways to measure your heart rate, but the most accurate way is to use an activity tracker or wearable that can connect to a chest monitor. This device straps around your chest and is much more precise than a smart watch.
The most advanced smart watch will have multiple sensors that can track heart rate and other vital indicators of your health. Some models even have EKG monitoring, which is able to detect irregular heart rhythms.
A lot of smartwatches now have a built-in SpO2 sensor, which measures your blood oxygen saturation. It’s a crucial health metric that’s especially relevant in these Covid-19 times, because it can help determine whether you need to seek medical attention.
But like most health metrics, it requires context to be useful. The best smartwatch for blood oxygen monitoring should be able to weave SpO2 results into other features and in-app wellness reports to give you more context about your overall health.
Some companies are trying to answer that question, including Samsung, which uses SpO2 measurements in its sleep coaching feature on the Galaxy Watch 4. Maxime Dumont, Withings’ product manager for smartwatches, says the company has received FDA clearance for its blood oxygen measuring technology, making it more trustworthy to doctors.
The most accurate smart watch can detect high blood pressure (hypertension) and low blood pressure (hypotension). It is important to monitor your blood pressure as it may lead to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and sexual dysfunction.
Several smartwatches are currently available that have a built-in blood pressure monitoring function, including those made by major brands like Apple and Fitbit. They have a number of features and can even monitor your heart rate, movement pattern, sleep quality, and calorie consumption.
While they can be a convenient way to check your blood pressure, they’re not always as accurate as a medical-grade device, and they may be subject to the same errors as standard smartwatches. That’s why you should talk to your doctor if your blood pressure readings seem out of sync with what’s on your cuff.
In our study we investigated a CE-cleared cuffless BP smartwatch and found that it showed a systematic bias toward a calibration point, overestimating low BPs and underestimating high BPs in normotensive and hypertensive patients. This result is important for demonstrating that smartwatch-based BP measurements are not yet ready for clinical usage and are not fully applicable to traditional non-invasive sphygmomanometer standards.
If you have diabetes, you need to keep track of your blood sugar level. It can help you understand how your body reacts to food and exercise, which can be vital in managing your disease.
The most accurate smart watch can measure your blood sugar level and alert you when it’s high or low, giving you time to take the appropriate action. It can also help you track your diet and insulin doses, helping you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Many smartwatches can also link to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are small devices that sit on the skin and send data to a smartphone or other device. They can display real-time glucose readings, arrow trends and graphs of glucose levels over time.
The best smartwatches for diabetics are the Apple Watch Series 7, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and Garmin Venu 2. These watches have a number of health features, including continuous glucose monitoring integration. They can also help you stay on top of your workout routine, calorie intake, sleep quality, and heart rate.