Smartwatch-induced health anxiety led one woman to run 916 ECGs in a year

smartwatch-induced health anxiety led one woman to run 916 ecgs in a year

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

One year after getting diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat, a 70-year-old woman was back for another diagnosis: new-onset health anxiety triggered by her smartwatch. Despite not having concerning symptoms, the patient became more and more preoccupied with and worried about notifications from her watch. Over the one-year period, she took 916 ECG recordings through her device.

That patient isn’t an outlier, says Lindsey Rosman, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who wrote about the case in a new paper. She was just one example of a pattern seen in cardiology clinics. “Patients with underlying…

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