Smart wearable devices in cardiovascular care: where we are and how to move forward

Nature Reviews Cardiology volume 18, pages581–599 (2021)

Technological innovations reach deeply into our daily lives and an emerging trend supports the use of commercial smart wearable devices to manage health. In the era of remote, decentralized and increasingly personalized patient care, catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cardiovascular community must familiarize itself with the wearable technologies on the market and their wide range of clinical applications. In this Review, we highlight the basic engineering principles of common wearable sensors and where they can be error-prone. We also examine the role of these devices in the remote screening and diagnosis of common cardiovascular diseases, such as arrhythmias, and in the management of patients with established cardiovascular conditions, for example, heart failure. To date, challenges such as device accuracy, clinical validity, a lack of standardized regulatory policies and concerns for patient privacy are still hindering the widespread adoption of smart wearable technologies in clinical practice. We present several recommendations to navigate these challenges and propose a simple and practical ‘ABCD’ guide for clinicians, personalized to their specific practice needs, to accelerate the integration of these devices into the clinical workflow for optimal patient care.

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