Stanford Medicine Apple Watch study shows heart warnings work

Henrietta Brewer
November 15, 2019

And that's good for the burgeoning digital health sector overall.

New York, Nov 14 (SocialNews.XYZ) Researchers have found that taller people have an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular and often rapid heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and other complications. That followed Fitbit's alliance in October with USA drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer to develop their own technology to spot atrial fibrillation, a condition that significantly increases the risk of stroke.

The study found out that among the Apple Watch and electrocardiogram patch about 84% were confirmed of having atrial fibrillation. Now, in a paper published November 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine, they report that the app's alerts matched up with electrocardiography, or ECG readings (the gold standard for detecting atrial fibrillation) 84% of the time. Enrolling 419,000 participants for the survey within eight months and for those with irregular heartbeats being digitally treated confirms the digital transformation is his contention. Over a period of almost four days, the watch notified 0.5% of this group of potential abnormal heart rhythms. Among the participants, a quarter finished the protocol by wearing a patch to monitor heart's rhythm.

Now and again, atrial fibrillation distinguished by the ‌Apple Watch‌ was in the beginning periods of advancement, and it didn't occur much of the time enough for the fix testing to identify it, something that was progressively pervasive in more youthful members. Also, because screening was done via interaction with the app, the study was administered at scale with little incremental cost. It can also be potentially detected using sensors and algorithms, making it a prime target for wearable device makers.

Wessler is already treating patients who have come to his clinics based off of data they've gleaned from their Apple Watch, which he said will become a more common occurrence over time.

It's also worth noting that the Apple Heart Study didn't use the ECG monitor on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, since it launched in 2017 before that feature was introduced.

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Numerous participants sought medical attention outside of the study. The study was conducted virtually, with volunteers talking to the researchers on the phone or through video chat. That is an astonishingly high number for a medical study.

The study shows that certain questions might be better answered without the infrastructure that clinical trials have traditionally required, and opens up the possibility that mass collection of data using wearable technologies or other continuous monitoring devices could provide a wealth of information that proves useful in improving people's health. The challenge, however, is to remain faithful to the data and what the evidence shows.

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