Apple and Stanford University release full results of Watch heart study

Apple and Stanford University release full results of Watch heart study

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) - Someday soon, devices like the Apple Watch might be monitoring wearers for heart conditions such as potentially risky atrial fibrillation, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation, a deadly and often undiagnosed condition, can lead to strokes. It affects up to 6 million Americans, but many people don't even know that they have it.

In September 2018 Appple Manager Jeff Williams in Cupertino, California, a new Apple Watch with ECG.

While more research needs to be done before cardiologists can entirely rely on Apple Watches to detect atrial fibrillation, it is a potential warning system for those that have the watch. The app can also detect slight changes that might indicate an irregular heartbeat. Over the course of the eight-month study, Apple and Stanford worked together to evaluate the irregular rhythm notification features on the Apple Watch, which is created to monitor the user's heart rhythm and notify the user when an irregular heart rhythm appears that could suggest atrial fibrillation.

While not all results have been published, researchers disclosed that about 0.5 percent of the approximately 419,000 people who participated in the study received a notification about an irregular heartbeat.

The study also found that 57 per cent of participants who received an alert on their watch sought medical attention. Once the sensor detected AFib symptoms, a consultation with a doctor and an ECG patch were provided for further monitoring.

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Patently Apple posted a report back in February talking about Apple Watch and its ECG capability in a report titled "Apple's SVP of Health Services Dr. Desai is interviewed about Democratizing Patient Data and more". It was found that in 84 percent of cases when a Apple Watch will alarm at the same time atrial fibrillation in the ECG was noted.

Stanford Medicine researchers presented their findings today at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo.

"We as clinicians, the onus is on us to start understanding the technology that patients are coming to us with", Dr. Marco Perez, a Stanford electrophysiologist and author of the study, said at a press conference. Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford's medical school added, "The findings are exciting and encouraging, but clearly there is a lot more to be done". More so, it was an observational study, rather than a randomized controlled trial. Because of the potentially Affected often show no symptoms, the detection of this type of heart rhythm disorder is very hard, reports by physicians of Stanford University.

The study's results underscore the importance of diagnostic cardiac-monitoring devices such as iRhythm's Zio patch, which is prescribed by a doctor, Lewis wrote.

Stanford cardiologist and one of the study's principal investigators Mintu Turakhia said this result was not surprising due to the tendency of AFib to come and go, especially in the early stages of the condition.

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