Machine Learning for Cardiovascular Outcomes from Wearable Data: Systematic Review from a Technology Readiness Level Point of View

Arman Naseri Jahfari*, David Tax, Marcel Reinders, Ivo van der Bilt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Wearable technology has the potential to improve cardiovascular health monitoring by using machine learning. Such technology enables remote health monitoring and allows for the diagnosis and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to the detection of cardiovascular disease, it can exclude this diagnosis in symptomatic patients, thereby preventing unnecessary hospital visits. In addition, early warning systems can aid cardiologists in timely treatment and prevention. Objective: This study aims to systematically assess the literature on detecting and predicting outcomes of patients with cardiovascular diseases by using machine learning with data obtained from wearables to gain insights into the current state, challenges, and limitations of this technology. Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, and IEEE Xplore on September 26, 2020, with no restrictions on the publication date and by using keywords such as “wearables,” “machine learning,” and “cardiovascular disease.” Methodologies were categorized and analyzed according to machine learning-based technology readiness levels (TRLs), which score studies on their potential to be deployed in an operational setting from 1 to 9 (most ready). Results: After the removal of duplicates, application of exclusion criteria, and full-text screening, 55 eligible studies were included in the analysis, covering a variety of cardiovascular diseases. We assessed the quality of the included studies and found that none of the studies were integrated into a health care system (TRL<6), prospective phase 2 and phase 3 trials were absent (TRL<7 and 8), and group cross-validation was rarely used. These issues limited these studies' ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of their methodologies. Furthermore, there seemed to be no agreement on the sample size needed to train these studies' models, the size of the observation window used to make predictions, how long participants should be observed, and the type of machine learning model that is suitable for predicting cardiovascular outcomes. Conclusions: Although current studies show the potential of wearables to monitor cardiovascular events, their deployment as a diagnostic or prognostic cardiovascular clinical tool is hampered by the lack of a realistic data set and proper systematic and prospective evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29434
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Digital health
  • Machine learning
  • MHealth
  • Mobile phone
  • Review
  • Wearable


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