Apple, Stanford launch Apple Heart Study to improve atrial fibrillation detection

EKG-Reading Kardia Band Is First Apple Watch Accessory To Get FDA Clearance

Apple is teaming up with Stanford Medicine to launch a new app that uses data garnered from the Apple Watch hear-rate sensor to determine whether a user is experiencing abnormal heart rhythms.

The study was first announced in Apple's September event, where the company said it believed the Apple Watch heart rate sensor was good enough to accurately detect AFib, which is a common cause of strokes and heart failure and responsible for around 130,000 deaths in the United States alone each year.

"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", Stanford school of medicine dean Lloyd Minor said in a press release.

Atrial fibrillation is one of the highest rates of arrhythmias occurring in the general populace with a number of medical management strategies.

Microsoft's Edge browser is now available for Android and iOS
To ensure seamless synchronization, Microsoft says users should download the Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update for their PC. Definitely one step forward, and you can expect Microsoft to work on Edge for iOS and Android in the coming months.

Might wearing an Apple Watch save you from a stroke or cardio problem?

If an irregular heart rhythm is identified, study participants will receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring. 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. "These stories inspire us and we're determined to do more to help people understand their health", said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operations officer.

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.

The Apple Watch is becoming a popular mHealth wearable for people with cardiac conditions. The technology can also monitor the pattern of the heartbeat. However, the study focused exclusively on results from the Apple Watch. Then, they often must visit them in person to collect data. Traditionally, researchers have had to seek out study participants directly - through medical facilities, by email or with fliers. Apple says it doesn't have any identifying information on study participants. The competition between Apple and companies like Kardia and others will likely come to a head shortly, especially since the Apple Watch can offer more than the add-on products. In September Williams said that Apple worked closely with the FDA in developing the study.

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