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Misuse of wearables triggers health anxiety

  Wearable devices are flooding the market, allowing users to monitor their own health, but improper use may also cause health anxiety and other problems. The doctor said that the equipment can provide daily data for diagnosis and treatment, but these data are not the only reference for diagnosis, let alone the diagnosis result.
  Zhao Guowei, a 67-year-old hypertensive patient, always felt that there was a problem with his heart. Recently, he came to a tertiary hospital in Shenyang and registered with the cardiology department. After some examinations, Li Wei, the chief physician of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, told him that there was no problem with the heart, and there was no missed beat as he said.
  It turned out that since Zhao Guowei wore a smart watch to monitor his heart rate half a year ago, he found that his heart missed a beat many times a day. For this reason, he has sought medical treatment six times. “The reason why I feel that there is a problem may be caused by anxiety. It is recommended to resume the dosage of the medicine and adjust the mentality.” Li Wei said.
  With the acceleration of my country’s population aging process and the increase in the number of chronically ill people, in the past two years, wearable devices such as sports bracelets, smart watches, and smart running shoes have become more and more widely used in the medical and health field. “Workers’ Daily” reporters found that on the one hand, these devices are convenient for users to monitor their own health status in real time, but on the other hand, due to improper understanding of the data of smart monitoring devices, some users have problems such as health anxiety and increased visits to doctors. How to use smart monitoring equipment correctly and how to treat monitoring data correctly deserves attention.
Health Anxiety After Wearing a Smartwatch

  Zhao Guowei suffers from high blood pressure and has been taking medicine for 10 years. His condition has been stable and he has no physical discomfort. In order to monitor Zhao Guowei’s physical condition at any time, his son bought him a smart watch, but since then Zhao Guowei’s health anxiety has also begun.
  After wearing the smart watch, Zhao Guowei often stared at the numbers on the dial for a long time, and found that his heart often missed a beat. “I always feel that something big is going to happen to my heart, and I feel restless all day long.” At the first visit to the doctor, the problem was indeed found, and the electrocardiogram showed “sinus block”.
  A doctor told Zhao Guowei before that he may suffer from coronary heart disease and myocardial ischemia, and he needs to be hospitalized for coronary angiography and a stent if necessary. Zhao Guowei did not agree, and the doctor advised him to stop the high blood pressure medicine.
  ”After stopping the drug, the number of missed beats did decrease, but the heart rate increased.” Zhao Guowei said, and then gradually developed symptoms such as headache, chest tightness, general fatigue, and inexplicable upset. I went to many hospitals to see a doctor, and adjusted the dosage of the medicine many times, but it didn’t get better.
  Li Wei said that when Zhao Guowei came to see a doctor, he was depressed and felt that he had an incurable disease. However, he found that the patient’s coronary artery CT results were fine, and he had no symptoms during exercise, which did not meet the characteristics of angina pectoris. Moreover, he had no adverse symptoms after taking medicine for a long time before monitoring with a smart watch. , Eliminate anxiety.
  Nowadays, smart monitoring equipment can not only monitor physiological indicators such as heart rate, blood oxygen, respiration, blood pressure, and sleep, but also gradually include mental indicators such as psychological stress and fatigue. Li Wei said that the widespread use of health monitoring equipment has indeed promoted self-care for users, but it has also become a source of stress for many people.
Monitoring data cannot replace doctor’s consultation

  Li Wenwen, who usually does not sleep well, also encountered a situation similar to Zhao Guowei. In February 2021, she purchased a smart bracelet and a smart alarm clock that can monitor sleep. Every morning, these two devices will send her the sleep monitoring report of the previous night, but the report always shows that the deep sleep time is too short, so she decided to buy sleep tablets to improve sleep quality.

  ”After taking it for about half a month, the reported data did not improve, and the dose was increased. A few days later, the report showed a cardiac arrest.” Li Wenwen told reporters that she did not know that this situation was due to Overdose. The doctor reminded her that as long as it is not difficult to fall asleep and the sleeping environment is comfortable, she does not need to take medicine.
  ”The device is to provide daily data for doctors’ diagnosis and treatment, not for patients to ‘prescribe the right medicine’. Therefore, the wearer should have a correct understanding and use of monitoring data.” Li Wei said.
  34-year-old Chen Wei told reporters that she is a delivery anchor and usually pays great attention to her appearance. In January this year, she bought a body fat scale to monitor her weight and body fat, but when she got on the scale, it showed that her protein level and basal metabolism were not up to standard.
  Also without seeing a doctor, Chen Wei bought a large amount of protein powder, but after taking it for a period of time, the data showed that the protein level had not returned to normal. Not only that, she also experienced constipation and increased uric acid levels. Physician Chai Yanli told Chen Wei that the data given by the body fat scale needs to be verified. Even if it shows that the protein level is insufficient, it may be caused by other factors, not necessarily due to insufficient protein intake.
  Chai Yanli said that body fat scales cannot be compared with professional medical and health care equipment. They can only point out that the protein level is low, and they do not and cannot give professional medical advice.
The data can be used as a reference for diagnosis and treatment

  ”Compulsive self-monitoring in some users is due to the panic generated by the unforeseen disease. However, constant worry and frequent medical care can negatively affect patients’ mental health, interpersonal relationships and quality of life.” Chai Yanli said.
  Professor Liu Jing from Peking University People’s Hospital said that the health monitoring of wearable devices is of great significance to doctors because it can record continuous and dynamic physiological data, and even when you are uncomfortable, you can record ECG at the first time.
  ”However, the purpose of wearing a smart device is not to monitor for monitoring, but to be healthier.” Li Wei said that users should form a correct understanding of monitoring equipment and realize that monitoring data can affect the later stages of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Diagnosis and treatment have reference value, but they are not the only reference for diagnosis, nor can they be regarded as diagnosis results.
  Li Wei also suggested that in order to prevent monitoring equipment from causing anxiety, manufacturers and medical institutions need to strengthen cooperation, and at the same time carry out health promotion for patients and users, so that they can understand the uses of the data collected by smart devices and how to determine when to go to the hospital Perform medical treatment, etc.
  The “Chinese Expert Consensus on the Application of Smart Wearable Devices in Young and Middle-aged Blood Pressure Management” issued by the China Hypertension Alliance provides professional advice on the application of smart wearable devices in the blood pressure management of young and middle-aged people, and recommends long-term monitoring through smart wearable devices , Evaluate short-term, long-term and seasonal blood pressure variation, and share the data with doctors when seeing a doctor for reference in diagnosis and treatment.

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