Apple Launches Heart Study App to Detect Cardiac Irregularities through Watch
Apple in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, on December 1, 2017, launched Apple Heart Study app, which uses the heart rate sensor on the Apple watch to collect the data and send a notification to an individual experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib).
AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, which can lead to heart failure if left unchecked. The condition affects around 3 million Americans and approximately 33.5 million people around the world. “Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science,” said Jeff Williams, Apple chief operating officer. Although watch can’t diagnose any conditions just yet, it is perfectly positioned to detect cardiac irregularities and notify individuals with serious condition who may want to go through medical checkup.
The sensor of watch uses green LED lights that flash hundreds of times per second to calculate heart rate and rhythm. Light-sensitive photodiodes detect the volume of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensor collects signals from four points on the wrist and combined with software algorithms, the watch can isolate heart rhythms from other noise.
Apple and Stanford will also aggregate the data the watch collects for macro-level insight on the Apple watch’s effectiveness as a medical tool. Stanford is going to use the study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Apple watch as a tool of proactive health care. To participate in the study individual having Apple watch who are above 22 year old can download the Apple Heart Study app. If an AFib is detected, users will receive a push notification, as well as a free consultation with a doctor that’s a part of the study and an electrocardiogram patch for further monitoring of the condition.
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