JMIR mental health | VOL. 9

The Apple Watch for Monitoring Mental Health-Related Physiological Symptoms: Literature Review.

Publication Date Sep 7, 2022


An anticipated surge in mental health service demand related to COVID-19 has motivated the use of novel methods of care to meet demand, given workforce limitations. Digital health technologies in the form of self-tracking technology have been identified as a potential avenue, provided sufficient evidence exists to support their effectiveness in mental health contexts. This literature review aims to identify current and potential physiological or physiologically related monitoring capabilities of the Apple Watch relevant to mental health monitoring and examine the accuracy and validation status of these measures and their implications for mental health treatment. A literature review was conducted from June 2021 to July 2021 of both published and gray literature pertaining to the Apple Watch, mental health, and physiology. The literature review identified studies validating the sensor capabilities of the Apple Watch. A total of 5583 paper titles were identified, with 115 (2.06%) reviewed in full. Of these 115 papers, 19 (16.5%) were related to Apple Watch validation or comparison studies. Most studies showed that the Apple Watch could measure heart rate acceptably with increased errors in case of movement. Accurate energy expenditure measurements are difficult for most wearables, with the Apple Watch generally providing the best results compared with peers, despite overestimation. Heart rate variability measurements were found to have gaps in data but were able to detect mild mental stress. Activity monitoring with step counti...


Apple Watch Mental Health Digital Health Technologies Heart Rate Variability Measurements Mental Health Contexts Workforce Limitations Heart Rate Variability Wheelchair Use Literature Review Gaps In Data

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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