Apple has launched a new app called Apple Heart Study aimed at Apple Watch users. The app allows for heart rate data to be collected by the sensor on the Apple Watch in order for research to be carried out on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib).
Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said:
“Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib. These stories inspire us and we’re determined to do more to help people understand their health. Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science.”
As part of the U.S.-based study, Apple has partnered up with Stanford Medicine to perform research on the data obtained through the app. If an irregular heart rhythm is detected, participants will receive a notification on their devices, a free consultation with a study doctor, and also an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring.
The app is only available through the U.S. app store with those who partake in the study required to be 22 years or older and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.
With 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalisations associated with atrial fibrillation per annum, as well as being the leading cause of stroke, medical studies leveraging the Apple Watch could prove valuable in the coming years.