Smartphones and wearable technology: benefits and concerns in cardiology

David Jin, Heath Adams, Anthony M Cocco, William G Martin and Sonny Palmer
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50446
Published online: 3 February 2020

The global expansion of wearable technology combined with smartphone access creates new questions and opportunities in the diagnosis and management of cardiac conditions

Wearable devices along with smartphone technology are becoming more common in developed nations such as Australia, with the number of connected devices expected to increase from 526 million in 2017 to over 1.1 billion worldwide in 2022.1 This new source of health information has led to novel methods of patient assessment, such as a single‐lead electrocardiograph (ECG) creating a pre‐presentation observation chart. This creates a paradigm shift where instead of symptomatic patients being referred for cardiac assessment, asymptomatic patients are now presenting with health data. In this article, we discuss the technology behind the devices, common brands and formats, potential applications, and advantages and disadvantages of wearable devices.

  • David Jin1,2
  • Heath Adams1,3
  • Anthony M Cocco1
  • William G Martin1
  • Sonny Palmer1,2

  • 1 St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS



We acknowledge for providing images of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT PPG based wristwatch. We thank Dr Rebecca Dang for her contributions that greatly improved the manuscript.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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