The Latest Healthcare Experiment - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Latest Healthcare Experiment

January 9, 2019
Apple Watch ECG App Rolls Out: The Healthcare Experiment Begins” gives us a glimpse of the brave new world or overdiagnosis for profit as Apple becomes your new doctor.
Apparently Apple has been working with the FDA to approve a new EKG app for the Apple Watch Series 4. That’s right you can view your own cardiogram on your watch. Never mind that it’s going to be virtually impossible for you to read or understand. Most GPs can’t even do it. So, who benefits? Doctors and drug companies for sure, and maybe some patients.
When doctors on Medscape were surveyed for their opinion on the impact of wearable medical technology such as the Apple Watch EKG app, here is what they said:

46% chose: Improved outcomes through early identification of AFib

29% chose: Increased heath literacy regarding arrhythmias

33% chose: Increased anxiety in the “worried well”

17% chose: Overdiagnosis of AFib

8% Overtreatment of AF

19% were Unsure

This EKG app comes at a time when doctors are already questioning the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of AFib and even questioning the overuse of cardiac ablation for AFib. So, as this new app increases “health literacy regarding arrhythmias” it also increases the “anxiety in the ‘worried well’’ and the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of AFib. 
Apple acknowledges that in the Apple Heart Study the watch’s AFib warning was not confirmed 20% of the time by an EKG electrode worn simultaneously. So one in five people are going to get a false reading. Unfortunately it’s possible that the anxiety a person experiences while waiting for an appointment for a regular EKG will ramp up their adrenaline, burn off magnesium, and set them up for a stress-induced arrhythmia. 
 Critics of the app cautioned that the EKG feature could increase the chance of false-positives and detect cases of low-risk AFib that don’t need to be treated. However, Apple executives raved that “We are confident in the ability of these features to help users have more informed conversations with their physicians.”
And just what does an informed conversation with your doctor look like these days? A trip to a cardiologist, a million dollar workup, and a handful of prescriptions. The Madison avenue admen said the same about DTCA – direct to consumer advertising on TV. They told people watching drug ads to speak to their doctor. But most doctors, happy that the ad did all the work for them, just wrote out a prescription and called for the next patient. Going to your doctor these days, unless you are paying out-of-pocket, does not entail a conversation. 
The younger generation is big on “biohacking their health” so they will be all over this app. But, I guarantee some, if not many, will wish they never clicked down this rabbit hole.
If you Google arrhythmia or palpitations you will find the following repeated over and over: An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat caused by a problem with the heart’s built-in electrical system. (Which means mineral deficiencies affecting the electrolytes that create electrical conductivity.)
Palpitations are a feeling that your heart is skipping beats, fluttering, or beating too hard or too fast. They may be a symptom of too much caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, or dehydration, vigorous physical activity, anxiety, fear, stress, fever, hyperactive thyroid, low blood sugar, anemia.
But when you go to a doctor with your Apple Watch EKG in hand, they are just going to be interested in the tracings and might not even investigate the trigger. And they will never do an ionized magnesium test to help diagnose a magnesium deficiency that can affect your heart rhythm.
Doctors are quite fearful of arrhythmias themselves and consider them another mysterious way that your body is failing you and most don’t know how to read EKGs. They just pack you off to a cardiologist because they assume there is a heart condition every time they see an abnormality on an EKG. 
Neither your GP nor your cardiologist at any time considers that you may have depleted your magnesium levels with caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines; or sweated out your magnesium with vigorous physical activity; or burned off your magnesium with adrenaline-fueled anxiety, fear, stress, and low blood sugar. 
In my book Atrial Fibrillation: ReMineralize Your Heart, I list the AFib triggers and tell you to stay on your arrhythmia meds. And in the meantime, saturate yourself with magnesium and multiple minerals, and take your B vitamins – all in my Completement Formulas. As your health and your EKG improve, then any sensible doctor will wean you off your meds.
The point I’m making is to carefully consider the possible outcome if you use this new technology since it’s likely not going to serve most people’s needs. 
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Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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