Feasibility and Diagnostic Value of Recording Smartwatch Electrocardiograms in Neonates and Children

J Pediatr. 2023 Feb:253:40-45.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2022.09.010. Epub 2022 Sep 14.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the agreement of smartwatch-derived single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings with 12-lead ECGs for diagnosing electrocardiographic abnormalities.

Study design: A 12-lead ECG and an ECG using Apple Watch were obtained in 110 children (aged 1 week to 16 years) with normal (n = 75) or abnormal (n = 35) 12-lead ECGs (atrioventricular block [7], supraventricular tachycardia [SVT] {5}, bundle branch block [12], ventricular preexcitation [6], long QT [5]). In children aged <6 years, the ECG recording was performed with the active participation of an adult who applied the neonate or child's finger to the crown of the watch. In older children, tracings were obtained after brief teaching without adult guidance. All 12-lead ECGs were independently evaluated by 2 blinded cardiologists. Apple Watch ECGs were independently evaluated by another blinded cardiologist.

Results: In 109 children (99.1%), the smartwatch tracing was of sufficient quality for evaluation. Smartwatch tracings were 84% sensitive and 100% specific for the detection of an abnormal ECG. All 75 normal tracings were correctly identified. Of the 35 children with abnormalities on 12-lead ECGs, 5 (14%) were missed, most often because of baseline wander and artifacts. Rhythm disorders (atrioventricular block or SVT) and bundle branch blocks were correctly detected in most cases (11 of 12 and 11 of 12, respectively); preexcitation and long QT was detected in 4 of 6 and 4 of 5, respectively.

Conclusion: Smartwatch ECGs recorded with parental assistance in children aged up to 6 years and independently in older children have the potential to detect clinically relevant conditions.

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Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Atrioventricular Block*
  • Child
  • Electrocardiography
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular* / diagnosis