The Apple Watch will be used by its manufacturer to detect irregular heart rhythms as part of a study to be conducted along with the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Apple said the app “is an innovative research study that uses data from Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms, including those with potentially serious heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation (AFib).”
AFib is one of the most common forms of irregular heartbeats and a leading cause of stroke, the company stated.
Apple pointed out that AFib is responsible for at least 130,000 deaths and the hospital confinement of 750,000 people in the United States each year.
Data-Gathering by Apple Watch
The company said the Watch’s heart rate sensor would collate data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing AFib.
The sensor, according to a Mashable report, uses green LED lights that flash and light-sensitive photodiodes to monitor the amount of blood pumping through a Watch user’s wrist.
What makes the sensor unique is that it gather “signals from four distinct points on the wrist,” and along with software algorithms, the Watch “isolates heart rhythms from other noise (in the body).”
After a Watch user is notified about an irregular heart rhythm, he or she gets a free video consultation on his or her iPhone with the Heart Study’s medical professionals for further analysis.
The video consultation connects the user with a licensed primary care provider from American Well.
Apple chief operating officer (COO) Jeff Williams revealed that they’d get letters from customers every week, saying how the Watch has helped them discover that they have AFib.
He said the letters inspire them “to do more to help people understand their health” and perhaps help “advance discoveries in heart science.”
Apple and Stanford have teamed up to do a heart study via a Watch’s sensor.
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