Most Apple Watch users won’t get health benefits from AFib detection, study finds

Usual treatments don’t quite fit the typical Apple Watch user.

One promised benefit of the Apple Watch is early detection of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythm. But most people who wear the watch are in a demographic that wouldn’t actually be able to do much with that information, according to a new study — most doctors wouldn’t prescribe them the medication usually given for that condition, which is usually detected in older people.

Getting an alert about a heart rhythm, then, doesn’t help the typical Apple Watch user’s overall health, says study author Josh Pevnick, co-director in the division of informatics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “It can cause anxiety for people who it identifies, and if there’s no treatment, then you’re maybe not bringing much benefit,” he says.