Apple's 419,093 participants in its cardiac health study with Stanford had over 2000 seeki...

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The data gleaned from Apple's cardiac health study in conjunction with Stanford has been disclosed, with doctors in attendance positive not just about the study as a whole, but also about the Apple Watch as an additional source of information to diagnose a problem.




In a presentation at the American College of Cardiology's annual conference on Saturday, more light was shed on Apple's cardiac health study with the Apple Watch. Stanford Medicine researchers presented their findings, with study results showing that 0.5 percent of the over 419,093 participants received an irregular heart rhythm notification

According to Apple, as well as the doctors giving the presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 68th annual event, many participants sought medical advice following their irregular rhythm notification, using the information as an additional data point for doctors to use in assessing any underlying condition.

"As physicians, we are always trying to find ways to offer patients health information that is meaningful to them for individualized care," said Sumbul Desai, MD, Apple's vice president of Health. "Seeing medical research reflect what we're hearing from consumers is positive and we're excited to see Apple Watch helping even more consumers in the future while collaborating with the medical community to further research."

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.

"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," Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine said when the study launched. "We're excited to work with Apple on this breakthrough heart study."

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. During the test, If an irregular heart rhythm was identified by the sensors, study participants received a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor, and an electrocardiogram peripheral for additional monitoring.

Enrollment in the study closed on August 2, 2018. The American Heart Journal previously declared that the study's 419,093 participants made it the largest one of its kind in history.

Data collection for the study concluded in January 2019.

Since the study's launch, Apple has ramped up its positioning of the Apple Watch as a health accessory, most notably with the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature in the Apple Watch Series 4. Using the app and special sensors in the base and crown, the Series 4 can act as a single-lead ECG reader.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    It's why I bought the Apple Watch4.
    edited March 16 jahbladeapplesnorangesGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,579member
    While 0.5% doesn't seem like a lot, it's actually a pretty high percentage - one can see why Apple is pushing the health applications of the Apple watch!
    applesnoranges
  • Reply 3 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,208member
    1) So when certain AI posters claimed that the Apple Watch couldn't possibility help save lives it was all bullshit? Who woulda thunk?

    2) This is only the beginning. I look forward to what other advancements for health and safety from Apple (and other vendors) will become common in wearable CE.
    edited March 16 jahbladeapplesnoranges13485
  • Reply 4 of 27
    QormicQormic Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Or like me, who reported these alerts to my GP, who put me on his electro cardiograph. After an external consultationI I was persciibed a beta blocker. Requesting a Stanford electrocardiograph device was unnecessary; and hence, not included in Stanford’s conclusions. 
    I expect my experience is not exceptional. 
    MacProjahbladeGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 27
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

  • Reply 6 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,579member
    Soli said:
    1) So when certain AI posters claimed that the Apple Watch couldn't possibility help save lives it was all bullshit? Who woulda thunk?

    2) This is only the beginning. I look forward to what other advancements for health and safety from Apple (and other vendors) will become common in wearable CE.
    It depends on your take - atrial fibrillation is often not in and of itself life-threatening, but is still serious and should be treated. So while saying ‘the Apple Watch saved someone’s life’ by detecting atrial fibrillation may not be accurate, it still made a valuable contribution. 
    applesnoranges
  • Reply 7 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,579member

    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Anyone who has read EKG monitoring strips knows how much artifact is involved. Any screening device will necessarily have a certain amount of false positives and if it doesn’t, odds are it’s missing too many cases. The fact that not all marked cases were actual cases is expected and is not an indication of ‘failure’ as you seem to imply. 
    applesnorangesGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Not sure I follow.  I thought it was only checked when you run the app and touch the winder.  So I would not expect it to do it on the charger.  Are you inferring it is checking constantly?  If so I didn't know that, or how the heck it would accomplish that without two reference points across the heart.
    edited March 16 jahblade
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,805administrator
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Given that you also can't use the distributed patches when they aren't on the user's body, I'm not certain why this is a big deal.
    macplusplusGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 27
    MplsP said:

    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Anyone who has read EKG monitoring strips knows how much artifact is involved. Any screening device will necessarily have a certain amount of false positives and if it doesn’t, odds are it’s missing too many cases. The fact that not all marked cases were actual cases is expected and is not an indication of ‘failure’ as you seem to imply. 
    I did not imply it was a failure. I said it’s a work in progress. I feel like that the article here did not present all the facts. 

    As as an aside, how many common medical testing procedures are you aware of that have a 34% confirmation rate? 
  • Reply 11 of 27
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Given that you also can't use the distributed patches when they aren't on the user's body, I'm not certain why this is a big deal.
    The article had much more. I only cut and pasted a small portion. You can judge for yourself: https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-watch-has-mixed-results-in-big-heart-study-11552757785?mod=hp_lead_pos6
  • Reply 12 of 27
    ivanhivanh Posts: 372member
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Given that you also can't use the distributed patches when they aren't on the user's body, I'm not certain why this is a big deal.
    The article had much more. I only cut and pasted a small portion. You can judge for yourself: https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-watch-has-mixed-results-in-big-heart-study-11552757785?mod=hp_lead_pos6
    In short, “NEW OR­LEANS--A mas­sive new study found that the pulse sen­sor in Apple Inc.’s watch helped de­tect a heart-rhythm dis­or­der in a small num­ber of users but may have caused false alarms for oth­ers.”
  • Reply 13 of 27
    ivanh said:
    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Given that you also can't use the distributed patches when they aren't on the user's body, I'm not certain why this is a big deal.
    The article had much more. I only cut and pasted a small portion. You can judge for yourself: https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-watch-has-mixed-results-in-big-heart-study-11552757785?mod=hp_lead_pos6
    In short, “NEW OR­LEANS--A mas­sive new study found that the pulse sen­sor in Apple Inc.’s watch helped de­tect a heart-rhythm dis­or­der in a small num­ber of users but may have caused false alarms for oth­ers.”
    And this article says, in short....?
  • Reply 14 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,579member
    MplsP said:

    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Anyone who has read EKG monitoring strips knows how much artifact is involved. Any screening device will necessarily have a certain amount of false positives and if it doesn’t, odds are it’s missing too many cases. The fact that not all marked cases were actual cases is expected and is not an indication of ‘failure’ as you seem to imply. 
    I did not imply it was a failure. I said it’s a work in progress. I feel like that the article here did not present all the facts. 

    As as an aside, how many common medical testing procedures are you aware of that have a 34% confirmation rate? 
    Quite a few, actually. I don’t know definite numbers, but within the cardiac realm, Holter monitors are probalby below that threshold. EKGs? Way below that, depending on how you group them. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 27
    Ok, the article mentions, but in passing, the fact that the Stanford study was done with a previous generation of the Watch. Not the 4 with the new sensor.

    Useless, clickbait WSJ article on Apple. I guess I should not have been surprised.

    I withdraw all of my comments above.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,579member
    Ok, the article mentions, but in passing, the fact that the Stanford study was done with a previous generation of the Watch. Not the 4 with the new sensor.

    Useless, clickbait WSJ article on Apple. I guess I should not have been surprised.

    I withdraw all of my comments above.
    Preventative and even diagnostic medicine can get very difficult to make sense of - the statistics can seem to point in opposite directions depending on how you look at them. A big part of the problem is that you’re dealing with human (patho)physiology which can be nearly infinitely variable, so a given test may be perfect on one patient but utterly useless on another one. The biggest problem with medical studies is not the results but figuring out what the results mean and how to apply them. Both sides here may have valid points.

    It’s too early to tell much - the APple watch will certainly not be a panacea, but it may well turn out to be a useful tool in the medical arsenal. One of the potential advantages is that it’s something that people already have.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 17 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,967member
    MplsP said:

    An article in the WSJ has a different take. It says:

    Researchers found that the ECG patches confirmed atrial fibrillation in only 34% of the 450 people who returned patches. The remaining two-thirds had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the time they wore the patches—raising questions about the watch’s accuracy.

    Renato Lopes, professor of at Duke University School of Medicine, said the watch has potential to detect some atrial-fibrillation cases “you would not get otherwise.” But in a panel discussion after results were presented, he said the 34% confirmation rate was “not very high.”

    Dr. Perez of Stanford said episodes of atrial fibrillation can be intermittent, which could help explain why a big proportion of ECG patch wearers had no confirmed atrial fibrillation during the week they wore it.”

    I think the Watch is a fabulous product, and I love mine. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: this technology at the consumer level is still in its early stages. For example, it cannot detect a-fib when the Watch is being charged. 

    Anyone who has read EKG monitoring strips knows how much artifact is involved. Any screening device will necessarily have a certain amount of false positives and if it doesn’t, odds are it’s missing too many cases. The fact that not all marked cases were actual cases is expected and is not an indication of ‘failure’ as you seem to imply. 
    I did not imply it was a failure. I said it’s a work in progress. I feel like that the article here did not present all the facts. 

    As as an aside, how many common medical testing procedures are you aware of that have a 34% confirmation rate? 
    Quite a few actually -- particularly for conditions like this.   Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many mental illnesses require multiple tests to isolate and confirm a problem.

    Perhaps a simple example is:   Fecal Occult Blood sample for early detection of colon cancer can warn of a possible problem, but must be verified by other means before any action is taken.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,967member
    Yes, this study was epic and likely opened a new pathway for medical diagnosis.  But there is, I believe, another use that it will blow the doors off of healthcare:   research into Lifestyle Medicine.
    75% of our $3.5 Trillion dollars of annual healthcare spending goes to treat chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, Type2 Diabetes, arthritis, etc.)  that are mostly preventable or even reversible with a healthy lifestyle.

    But, typically any and all research into it is dismissed as unreliable because it either doesn't pass the double blinded RCT test used for medications. Or, more often, the data is simply too subjective because they have to ask the patient to remember what they did.  Quite often a questionnaire is used that asks:   "What did you do last week (or for the last month or year)".    And, whenever a study does overcome those weaknesses it is often dismissed because the sample size and duration are small.

    The Apple Watch (and the iPhone) can change that by supplying extremely accurate, objective, quantifiable data from many people over long periods of time.

    I believe the real benefit of the Apple Watch for health care won't be realized for years until those studies are designed, funded, initiated, completed and the results published in peer-reviewed medical journals.   At that point, physicians will be as likely to write a prescription for an exercise physiologist as for a pill.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,138member
    Based on some of these articles, it appears doctors would rather we have no outside measurements on the status of our health or heart rate and wait until “we feel bad” to see them.   When it is too late.    

    They'd rather we we have no false negatives because they might make us fear for our health. 

    Saying a device like the Apple Watch can do more harm than good because of false negatives is like saying “don’t go to the doctor because you might not have something wrong”.  Don’t they want us to be healthy?  

    The harm is these doctors trying to hold to hold back advances that can only help us.   The doctors are doing us harm whenever they prevent advancements in technology.  They get paid when we go to see them whether we are healthy or not, so why do they care about false positives?  

    Why?  Because being healthy takes money out of their pockets.  They don’t want us to prevent disease because no doctor truly cares about preventing anything.  They want you to pay them for treatment.

    Read these articles with that in mind it will give you a new perspective of what they truly believe in.   
  • Reply 20 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,967member
    eriamjh said:
    Based on some of these articles, it appears doctors would rather we have no outside measurements on the status of our health or heart rate and wait until “we feel bad” to see them.   When it is too late.    

    They'd rather we we have no false negatives because they might make us fear for our health. 

    Saying a device like the Apple Watch can do more harm than good because of false negatives is like saying “don’t go to the doctor because you might not have something wrong”.  Don’t they want us to be healthy?  

    The harm is these doctors trying to hold to hold back advances that can only help us.   The doctors are doing us harm whenever they prevent advancements in technology.  They get paid when we go to see them whether we are healthy or not, so why do they care about false positives?  

    Why?  Because being healthy takes money out of their pockets.  They don’t want us to prevent disease because no doctor truly cares about preventing anything.  They want you to pay them for treatment.

    Read these articles with that in mind it will give you a new perspective of what they truly believe in.   
    Speaking as a nurse from the inside:  
    You said:  " it appears doctors would rather we have no outside measurements ".
    Yes, there is that is inertia.   As a student I was taught that anything presented by the patient was "subjective" and to be regarded somewhat lightly and that only my own measurements and observations were "objective" and to be trusted.  And, my experience is that "trust yourself" belief / attitude tends to pervade medicine.   But, conversely, reading some medical forums, there is a surprisingly large number who welcome things like the Apple Watch.

    And, speaking of physicians, you said:
    "being healthy takes money out of their pockets.  They don’t want us to prevent disease because no doctor truly cares about preventing anything.  They want you to pay them for treatment."
    My experience has been that most physicians DO want you to be healthy.   But, few physicians are self-employed anymore.  Most work for a system or are controlled by a system (in order to have "admitting priviliges" for example).   And, it is those large health care operations that care only about profit rather than health.  And, they drive the physician just as any company drives its own employees to generate revenue and profits.

    I once asked a caring physician why they do not care about the kind of lifestyle medicine you are asking for.   His response was:  "Any physician who does that doesn't last very long in this town."

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