JMIR Cardio (Feb 2021)

Heart Rate Measurements in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation: Prospective Pilot Study Assessing Apple Watch’s Agreement With Telemetry Data

  • Huynh, Pauline,
  • Shan, Rongzi,
  • Osuji, Ngozi,
  • Ding, Jie,
  • Isakadze, Nino,
  • Marvel, Francoise A,
  • Sharma, Garima,
  • Martin, Seth S

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1
p. e18050


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BackgroundPatients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at a higher risk for atrial fibrillation (AF). Consumer wearable heart rate (HR) sensors may be a means for passive HR monitoring in patients with AF. ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to assess the Apple Watch’s agreement with telemetry in measuring HR in patients with OSA in AF. MethodsPatients with OSA in AF were prospectively recruited prior to cardioversion/ablation procedures. HR was sampled every 10 seconds for 60 seconds using telemetry and an Apple Watch concomitantly. Agreement of Apple Watch with telemetry, which is the current gold-standard device for measuring HR, was assessed using mixed effects limits agreement and Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient. ResultsA total of 20 patients (mean 66 [SD 6.5] years, 85% [n=17] male) participated in this study, yielding 134 HR observations per device. Modified Bland–Altman plot revealed that the variability of the paired difference of the Apple Watch compared with telemetry increased as the magnitude of HR measurements increased. The Apple Watch produced regression-based 95% limits of agreement of 27.8 – 0.3 × average HR – 15.0 to 27.8 – 0.3 × average HR + 15.0 beats per minute (bpm) with a mean bias of 27.8 – 0.33 × average HR bpm. Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient was 0.88 (95% CI 0.85-0.91), suggesting acceptable agreement between the Apple Watch and telemetry. ConclusionsIn patients with OSA in AF, the Apple Watch provided acceptable agreement with HR measurements by telemetry. Further studies with larger sample populations and wider range of HR are needed to confirm these findings.