Tech & Science Apple launches study to detect heart irregularities via Apple Watch

12:36  02 december  2017
12:36  02 december  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

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An Apple Watch app can detect a common form of heart irregularity with 97 percent accuracy, according to results presented at the Heart Rhythm Society last week.

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Apple is teaming up with Stamford on the Apple Heart Study app. © Apple Apple is teaming up with Stamford on the Apple Heart Study app.

Might wearing an Apple Watch save you from a stroke or cardio problem?

Apple is careful not to make that direct claim. But the company, in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, launched the Apple Heart Study app on Thursday that uses the heart rate sensor inside the Apple Watch to collect data on irregular heart rhythms. The study had been previously announced in September.

If an irregular heart rhythm is detected, participants in the study will be notified through the Apple Watch and on their iPhones. Should that occur, you’ll be offered a free consultation with a study doctor, and possibly an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring.

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The Apple Watch has been found to detect a heart condition that affects some 2.7 million people in the US, a new study has revealed. The algorithm was accurate 97 percent of the time using the smartwatch's heart rate sensor (stock).

Top 10 PhD Admissions For 2017 – 2018 Session You Must… Home News Apple Heart Study Launches , Directed at Detecting Cardiac Irregularities through their Smart Using this method, the Apple Heart Study app can identify an irregular heart rhythm.

Of course, at that point you'll likely also wish to consult your own physician.

Atrial fibrillation or AFib, is the leading cause of stroke, and responsible for some 130,000 U.S. deaths every year, Apple says. And since many people don’t experience symptoms, AFib often goes undetected.

A participant in the study merely has to download the app and wear the watch.

The way Apple explains it, a sensor inside the watch uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensor has an optical design that gathers signals from four distinct points on the wrist. Using software algorithms, the Apple Watch can isolate heart rhythms from other noise, and identify an irregular heart rhythm.

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This is a random, occasional irregular heartbeat. According to the study , the Apple Watch is able to detect that abnormal heart rate with a 97 percent accuracy: “Cardiogram tested the deep neural network it had built against 51 in-hospital cardioversions

Apple launches study to detect heart irregularities via Apple Watch . But the company, in collaboration with Stanford Medicine, launched the Apple Heart Study app on Thursday that uses the heart rate sensor inside the Apple Watch to collect data on irregular heart rhythms.

The study is open to U.S. participants 22 years of age or older. You must have an Apple Watch (Series 1 model or later) and an iPhone (model 5s or later). You must also confirm that you do not have AFib, or an atrial flutter. Taking anticoagulant medications is also a disqualifier.

Participants can leave the study at any time. Apple says it doesn’t have any identifying information on study participants.

According to Apple, more than 500 researchers and more than three million people have been using iPhones, the Apple Watch, and Apple's ResearchKit platform and software tools to participate in medical studies that range from autism to Parkinson’s disease.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter

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