Apple closes enrollment to Apple Heart Study

in Apple Watch edited August 2018
Apple is no longer accepting new applicants to participate in the Apple Heart Study, a medical research program that aggregates heart rate data gathered from Apple Watch devices to determine whether the wearable can identify irregular heart rhythms.

Apple Heart Study

The company announced the change in a post to a dedicated Apple Heart Study FAQ webpage this week, saying enrollment for the study ended on Aug. 1. Apple will continue to collect data from Apple Watch currently participating in the program until the study's scheduled conclusion on Jan. 31, 2019.

Prior to the update, Apple was accepting all comers who owned a compatible Apple Watch -- a Series 1 device or later running watchOS 4 or above -- through a standalone iOS app which has since been removed from the App Store. Apple and study partner Stanford Medicine were actively seeking new participants as recently as May, when the tech giant sent out solicitation emails to registered Apple Watch owners.

MacRumors reported on the updated enrollment period earlier today.

Earlier this week, users reported abnormal Apple Heart Study app behavior, with some longtime participants finding they were no longer enrolled in the program. In most cases, users were able to successfully re-enroll in the study, though the process reset heart rate reading histories. Whether the apparent glitch is linked to the decision to close the program to new participants is unknown.

Apple, in partnership with Stanford Health, announced the Apple Heart Study in tandem with the Apple Watch Series 3 release event last year. The program seeks to learn if data from Apple Watch, collected in conjunction with the Apple Heart Study app and watchOS companion app, can be used to identify irregular heart rhythms including those related to heart conditions like atrial fibrillation.

The system also includes a mechanism to notify Apple Watch owners of detected irregularities. If a study participant displays abnormal heart activity, they receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram peripheral for additional monitoring.

The study launched last November and continues through the January 2019 end date.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Two things will be interesting:
    1)  Will this monitoring continue after the end of the study.  In fact, what are the results of the study?  Did it work?   We have already seen on this forum a long term member whose Apple Watch identified serious medical issues that neither he nor his physicians were aware of.  It would be a shame for him to lose that ongoing monitoring of his condition.

    2)  Where will Apple be going with its sensors?  An electronic sensor would be helpful to provide a more accurate heart rate measurement.  And, a chest strap could also measure depth and rate of respiration which could be useful to athletes.  Then you get into things like blood glucose monitoring, and even lean vs fat body mass.

    There is a world of monitoring out there that Steve would have loved.   Things that empower people to take control of their own health -- to rip control from the once a year checkup and/or from medical devices costing many thousands of dollars that are inaccessible to most.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    I would be surprised if Apple did not come out with blood glucose readings (without finger pricks) at some point - Tim Cook was reported to have lost 30 pounds when using "something" tied to his watch.  When you get the CEO's attention you get the whole company's attention.  All will depend on FDA approval, which can take some time - but might already be applied for.

    Heart monitoring is another important direction for Apple to move to.  The biggest issue in this area is the need to address liabilities with huge research results.  People will be heading to the doctor's or ER based on the Watch.  One option is to develop a communication approach for doctors and clinics/hospitals to use for automated acceptance of hWatch based EKGs plus identifying strips that need to be addressed by a doctor.  Obviously that requires some detailed protocols at both end.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Several years ago, I had issues with my heart rate that required me to monitor it on a regular basis. An app on my iPhone let me check the rate using the camera.  While accurate, it required me to intentionally open the app to take the reading. I moved to the Apple Watch early this year, and signed up for this study.  Three times my watch has alerted me to excessive heart rate, I probably would have never known, as threre are no physical symptoms that would alert me of what was happening.  I can share the information with my doctor, giving him insight that he would never be aware of.  I hope this study will result in continued support by Apple to provide a valued tool for their customers to monitor health issues at very reasonable cost. 

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