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How reliable are smartwatches for monitoring your heart?

Smart watches. good Christmas gift idea, but are smartwatches good heart watches?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Today we not only wear the gown, we wear the smartwatch. The latest models on the market can now monitor your heart for a number of things. But how reliable are they? For answers we visit with Dr. Sid.

Smart watches. good Christmas gift idea, but are smartwatches good heart watches?

“We’re still learning what to do with this technology but it’s a good steady tool,” Dr. Sid. said, interventional cardiologist at the CHI St. Vincent Heart Clinic.

Over the last two years he has seen heart watches evolve, but warns they just give you data points.

“And these machines are not like 100 percent intelligent," Dr. Sid said. "They cannot tell you everything.”

Example EKG’s. Yes, available on some watches, but Dr. Sid said it's better let the the professionals do it.

“On the EKG you know, in the office, we stick some electrodes on you and we check the electrical activity of the heart from different angles,” Dr. Sid said.

As for the smartwatch, there’s a limit to how smart a watch can be.

“Well we only see the heart from one angle,” Dr. Sid said.

A watch is not smart enough to tell you what specific alert you have. But, the watches are more and more becoming a first alert. Doctors are seeing the devices help deliver patients with atrial fibrillation, those with an irregular or rapid heart beat.

“And this is going to bring a lot of attention to a lot of patients who are undetected," Dr. Sid said.

Preventing strokes and other complications. It is still the doctor visit that is your best ally, but the smart heart watch has its place now in medicine.

It’s always good to know more information.