Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

Apple Watch can track your heart rate for a medical study

Apple Watch can track your heart rate for a medical study

The Apple Watch is becoming a popular mHealth wearable for people with cardiac conditions. Users who participate will be notified on their iPhone and Watch and provided a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram (EKG) patch.

The Heart Study app is available for USA adults over the age of 22 for all three series of the Apple Watch.

You'll need an Apple Watch that's compatible with the study.

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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.

"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", Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a statement. "We've been looking at this for a couple of years, and we think Apple Watch can help", said Apple COO Jeff Williams, of AFib, at the keynote.

This study takes all of that a step further: Now Apple itself will be running a study and submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration. On Thursday, Apple announced the official launch of the research project that was created due to a large volume of letters and emails to the company from Apple Watch users who claimed the device helped them identify a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Apple and Stanford are partnering with Boston firm American Well to provide those consults.

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Heart-rate monitoring features have been a core part of the Watch since it debuted as a heavily health- and fitness-focused product.

The Apple Watch is key element in Stanford's mHealth research. More advanced tools to take your pulse were a major addition to Apple's latest Watch software upgrade, and users can get alerts when they appear to have an elevated heart rate but aren't active.

He also noted that the Apple Watch has successfully identified arrhythmia in previous third-party studies. With the release of both HealthKit and ResearchKit, and now this study, Apple is positioning the Apple Watch as a true health monitoring device that can be crucial for preventative care. In September Williams said that Apple worked closely with the FDA in developing the study.

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