Apple Watch detects irregular heart beat in large US study

18 Mars, 2019, 09:25 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Apple Watch detects irregular heart beat in large US study

According to results presented on Saturday, about 0.5 per cent of patients in the study - or nearly 2,100 people - received notices from their watch indicating that they might have a heart-rhythm problem.

"Atrial fibrillation is just the beginning, as this study opens the door to further research into wearable technologies and how they might be used to prevent disease before it strikes", said Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford School of Medicine. But if the watch detected another irregular heartbeat while someone was wearing the EKG patch, 84 percent of the time it really was a-fib, he said.

Researchers from Stanford University's School of Medicine presented results from a giant study sponsored by Apple that showed the Apple Watch can sometimes spot patients with undiagnosed heart-rhythm problems, without producing large numbers of false alarms. Since atrial fibrillation is an intermittent condition, it's not surprising for it to go undetected in subsequent ECG patch monitoring. The study says almost 57% sought medical advice from doctors after getting notified.

Fifty-seven percent of those who received irregular pulse notifications sought medical attention. While the series 4 model includes an ECG monitor along with the heart rate monitor that all Apple Watch models have, the company is working on a way for the Apple Watch to show a user's blood glucose reading without a needle stick. If an irregular pulse was detected, the participant received a notification and was asked to schedule a telemedicine consultation with a doctor involved in the study through American Well. Researchers then sent an electrocardiography (ECG) patch to those notified for further detection of abnormal heart patterns.

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Over 400,000 people participated in the Apple Heart Study, which used the Apple Watch to collect irregular heart rhythm data from participants for eight months.

Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman on the Apple Watch 4's EKG feature, the future of health-care costs, and his outlook for the upcoming flu season.

"The performance and accuracy we observed in this study provides important information as we seek to understand the potential impact of wearable technology on the health system", said Perez.

No. The study was created to tell how the watch compared to a week of standard EKG monitoring - not if the wearer's health improved because the screening uncovered the arrhythmia. So reports Reuters, which notes that the research was funded by Apple.

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