Apple and Stanford Medicine fire up Heart Study to spot irregular beat, atrial fibrillatio...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited November 2017
Apple, in conjunction with Stanford Health, has launched the Apple Heart Study app, a first-of-its-kind research study allowing any user with an Apple Watch to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and to be proactively notified when they may be experiencing atrial fibrillation.




To calculate heart rate and rhythm, the Apple Watch uses green LEDs coupled with light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensor collects signals from four points on the wrist, and uses the data to identify an irregular heart rhythm.

"Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib. These stories inspire us and we're determined to do more to help people understand their health," said Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. "Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science."

If an irregular heart rhythm is identified, study participants will receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram peripheral for additional monitoring.

"Through the Apple Heart Study, Stanford Medicine faculty will explore how technology like Apple Watch's heart rate sensor can help usher in a new era of proactive health care central to our Precision Health approach," said Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine. "We're excited to work with Apple on this breakthrough heart study."

The study was originally announced during the Apple Watch Series 3 release event. At the time, Apple noted that it was working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the process. According to Apple, the Apple Watch is the most used heart rate monitor in the world.

Atrial fibrillation, the leading cause of stroke, is responsible for approximately 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year. Many people don't experience symptoms, so the disease often goes undiagnosed.

The Apple Heart Study app will be available soon in the U.S. App Store to customers who are 22 years or older, and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Apple, in conjunction with Stanford Health, has launched the Apple Heart Study app
    ...
     ...
    The Apple Heart Study app will be available soon in the U.S. App Store to customers who are 22 years or older, and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.
    Great use of the technology, but odd how they have “launched” without app being made available to general population.  Would think a different phrasing would have been better - that is, unless it’s just a matter of hours...
  • Reply 2 of 9
    This is exciting...
    CNBC published an article on it that highlighted two of the really critical features of this effort:
    1)  It is not meant to "diagnose" -- which is a black and white medical term implying that a test will determine whether or not a condition exists with a high degree of accuracy both in terms of limiting false positives and as well as false negatives.   Instead, it will show that a condition MIGHT exist, and then...  (point #2)

    2) Refer the person to a telemedicine conference where that possibility can be discussed and explored and a decision made on whether or not to pursue it from a medical standpoint and how...  This is a huge step forward from the all or nothing panic mode of "OMG!  I'm in A-Fib, get me to the hospital now!"

    The article also points out that a third party watch band that can track these kinds of things electronically via a wrist based, single lead EKG is in the works.   This would expand the potential uses and accuracy exponentially over the existing light based heart rate monitor.  Actually, even just tracking heart rate it would be more accurate because it would essentially be the same as a chest strap -- which are known to be more accurate under more conditions than the current technology available in existing wrist based monitors.  For instance, a study by the Cleveland Clinic showed the Apple Watch to be the most accurate of the wrist based HR monitors at 90%.  But, chest straps like the Polar H7 produced a 99% accuracy.

    Here is a link to the article.  It's good!

    russw
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Pity it’s only US that it’s available in. Would be great to add to the study here in NZ but that’s not going to happen it seems.

    For those out of US download Cardiogram because you can be a part of the testing anywhere in the world.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    I hope Apple/Stanford will expand this research to include selected EU universities.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    We need this in Europe too..
  • Reply 6 of 9
    I hope Apple/Stanford will expand this research to include selected EU universities.
    multi nation research is hard to get approved.  The usually do it one regulatory zone at a time, because university/research-orgs' IRBs are aligned with their national laws.
    bloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 7 of 9
    The study is to detect irregular heart rhythm such as A-Fib. 

    However, I downloaded the application and to sign up it has two questions to enroll

    1. I do not have A-Fib
    2. I don’t take blood thinning drugs

    I have both so I cannot enroll.  What is the big push in the papers that they want to track A-Fib
  • Reply 8 of 9
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 1,995member
    MrSupe said:
    The study is to detect irregular heart rhythm such as A-Fib. 

    However, I downloaded the application and to sign up it has two questions to enroll

    1. I do not have A-Fib
    2. I don’t take blood thinning drugs

    I have both so I cannot enroll.  What is the big push in the papers that they want to track A-Fib
    They don't want to track it.   They simply want to identify that it (might) exist -- because most A-Fib goes undiagnosed.  
  • Reply 9 of 9
    @MrSupe: If you already have Afib you will of course be taking warfarin or similar and in those circumstances the best tool is SmartRhythm Monitoring from Kardia/AliveCor, see https://www.alivecor.com/technology/

    My wife has both the original KardiaMobile which is built into the case of her iPhone 6, see https://shop.gb.alivecor.com/products/kardiamobile

    Plus the new KardiaBand which is mounted on the Apple Watch, see  https://shop.gb.alivecor.com/products/kardiaband
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