Apple Heart Study launches as first Apple Watch EKG reader clears FDA

Apple Heart Study launches as first Apple Watch EKG reader clears FDA

Stanford Medicine and Apple have officially kicked off a research initiative test looking into how the Apple Watch can identify users experiencing irregular heart rhythms and virtually connect them with a physician.

Apple and Stanford have teamed up for a new heart health study. "These stories inspire us and we're determined to do more to help people understand their health". The star of the show was the iPhone X, although Apple unveiled a bunch of other products including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the LTE Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch uses green LED lights that flash hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to analyze blood flow through the wrist, from which heart rhythms are isolated by software algorithms in the watch.

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In a press release, the company announced the launch of the Apple Heart Study app and the research study that will utilize it. "We look forward to continuing to apply deep machine learning techniques to uncover hidden physiological signals in ECGs to improve heart and overall human health".

Though the Watch can't diagnose any conditions just yet, it is perfectly positioned to detect an irregular heart beat and alert those with a serious condition who may want to check it out further with a medical professional. American Well is providing the telemedicine services.

If your watch discovers an irregular heart rhythm, Apple will provide a free consultation with a study doctor, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch to continue monitoring your heart rate.

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That same ongoing study has also concluded the same results may be available to any wearable heart rate sensor, including those found within Garmin, Fitbit or Android Wear as they all have similar components. The company hopes to see enrollment on par with previous ResearchKit studies, which had upwards of 15 to 20,000 enrollees in the first week.

Apple declined to say how long the study will run. According to the iPhone maker, the study is the first of its kind, and it will utilize the heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch.

Available for iPhone and Apple Watch users in the US the Apple Heart Study app represents part of a "first-of-its-kind" research project that seeks to establish the potential use of wearables such as Apple Watch in detecting atrial fibrillation (AFib) - a condition associated with an increased risk of strokes and heart failure.

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