Wearable technology to inform the prediction and diagnosis of cardiorespiratory events: A scoping review

Hamzeh Khundaqji*, Wayne Hing, James Furness, Mike Climstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background. The need for health systems that allow for continuous monitoring and early adverse event detection in individuals outside of the acute care setting has been highlighted by the global rise in chronic cardiorespiratory diseases and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it is unclear what type of evidence exists concerning the use of physiological data collected from commercially available wrist and textile wearables to assist in clinical decision making. The aim of this review was therefore to systematically map and summarize the scientific literature surrounding the use of these wearables in clinical decision making as well as identify knowledge gaps to inform further research. Methodology. Six electronic bibliographic databases were systematically searched (Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, and SportsDiscus). Publi- cations from database inception to May 6, 2020 were reviewed for inclusion. Non- indexed literature relevant to this review was also searched systematically. Results were then collated, summarized and reported. Results. A total of 107 citations were retrieved and assessed for eligibility with 31 citations included in the final analysis. A review of the 31 papers revealed three major study designs which included (1) observational studies (nD19), (2) case control series and reports (nD8), and (3) reviews (nD2). All papers examined the use of wearable monitoring devices for clinical decisions in the cardiovascular domain, with cardiac arrhythmias being the most studied. When compared to electrocardiogram (ECG) the performance of the wearables in facilitating clinical decisions varied depending upon the type of wearable, user's activity levels and setting in which they were employed. Observational studies collecting data in the inpatient and outpatient settings were equally represented. Eight case control series and reports were identified which reported on the use of wrist wearables in patients presenting to an emergency department or clinic to aid in the clinical diagnosis of a cardiovascular event. Two narrative reviews were identified which examined the impact of wearable devices in monitoring cardiovascular disease as well as potential challenges they may pose in the future. Conclusions. To date, studies employing wearables to facilitate clinical decisions have largely focused upon the cardiovascular domain. Despite the ability of some wearables to collect physiological data accurately, there remains a need for a specialist physician to retrospectively review the raw data to make a definitive diagnosis. Analysis of the results has also highlighted gaps in the literature such as the absence of studies employing wearables to facilitate clinical decisions in the respiratory domain. The disproportionate study of wearables in atrial fibrillation detection in comparison to other cardiac arrhythmias and conditions, as well as the lack of diversity in the sample populations used prevents the generalizability of results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12598
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Wearable technology to inform the prediction and diagnosis of cardiorespiratory events: A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this