Monday, 11 December, 2017

Apple Heart Study launches as first Apple Watch EKG reader clears FDA

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Pete Mitchell | 01 December, 2017, 06:51

The Apple Watch is becoming a popular mHealth wearable for people with cardiac conditions.

According to a landing page updated by Stanford Medicine, the study is open to US residents 22 years or older that have not been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and own at least an iPhone 5S and a Series 1 Apple Watch. The star of the show was the iPhone X, although Apple unveiled a bunch of other products including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the LTE Apple Watch.

Today, Apple launched the Apple Heart Study app.

"Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science", Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams said in a statement.

If you aren't sure which Apple Watch model you have, head over to the Watch app on your iPhone.

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To calculate heart rate and rhythm, Apple Watch's sensor uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. From there, he or she may opt to see a doctor online, for a free consult on their health. The consultation can then connect users with a board-certified, licensed primary care provider from American Well. The sensor's unique optical design gathers signals from four distinct points on the wrist, and when combined with powerful software algorithms, Apple Watch isolates heart rhythms from other noise.

The Apple Watch is key element in Stanford's mHealth research. The company declined to say whether it would take on further research in the future. Now go to the Identify your Apple Watch web page and match your model number to the list. Traditionally, researchers have had to seek out study participants directly - through medical facilities, by email or with fliers.

Participants in the study will have their heart rate continuously monitored.

At least 33 million units of the Watch have been sold, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu - Apple itself does not officially release sales figures, nor information on who is buying the Watch. A year later, Apple announced ResearchKit for medical researchers, and in conjunction with the Apple Watch opens up new avenues for carrying out health studies at scale. In September Williams said that Apple worked closely with the FDA in developing the study.

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