Apple and Stanford’s Apple Watch study identified irregular heartbeats in over 2,000 patients

Apple and the Stanford University School of Medicine published press releases each today, citing the results of the Apple Heart Study that they jointly announced in November 2017. Stanford Medicine also brought its conclusions to the 68th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology today. Apple completely financed the study.

The Apple Heart Study, which did not include the Apple Watch Series 4 (with its built-in ECG function), included 419,093 participants. Apple says that people from all 50 states participated in the course of eight months and, according to the university, about 0.5 percent of all participants, more than 2,000 people, received notifications that alerted them to irregularities in heart rate during the course of the study. The researchers considered this as "an important finding given the concerns about possible over reporting," suggesting that simply being part of the Apple Heart Study was not a burden on most of the people involved (or an unnecessary distraction for their doctors). . Many health experts are concerned that giving consumers more data to analyze is not necessarily a good thing and could be a burden on health care systems.

In cases where users received an irregular heart rate notification, the doctors gave the study participants a digital consultation, as well as an electrocardiogram patch for further follow-up; The readings of his electrical heart rate were recorded during a week using the appropriate ECG patch in these cases.

apple and stanfords apple watch study identified irregular heartbeats in over 2000 patients

Image: Apple

Stanford has more information on how all this was developed:

Comparisons between irregular pulse detection in the Apple Watch and electrocardiography (ECG) patches recordings showed that the detection algorithm of pulse (which indicates a positive tachogram reading) has a positive predictive value of 71 percent. In 84 percent of the time, participants who received irregular pulse notifications were in atrial fibrillation at the time of notification.

One third (34 percent) of participants who received irregular pulse notifications and followed up The ECG patch was found to have atrial fibrillation for a week afterwards. Because atrial fibrillation is an intermittent condition, it is not surprising that it is not detected in the subsequent monitoring of ECG patches.

Fifty-seven percent of those who received irregular pulse notifications sought medical attention.

For its sound, Stanford treats the Apple Heart Study as a springboard to further research on how useful portable devices can be for the user to monitor our daily health and predict problems. "Atrial fibrillation is just the beginning, as this study opens the door to further research on portable technologies and how they could be used to prevent disease before it occurs, a key goal of Precision Health," said Dr. Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford School of Medicine.

We know that these devices (from Apple and many other companies) can and continue to save and improve lives, but detecting undiagnosed health problems is several layers beyond the monitoring of the main physical activity and if your heart is beating as it should , what are the Duties of the majority of today's consumers. There is little room for inaccuracy if technology manufacturers want to take the next step. And again, this study only involved the Apple Watch up to Series 3, so it relied on the device's optical heart rate sensor for a long time. When you tie yourself for a cardiac check-up at a medical center, there is more specialized equipment at hand.

"The performance and accuracy we observed in this study provide important information as we seek to understand the potential impact of portable technology on the health system," said Dr. Marco Perez, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine. "Additional research will help people make more informed health decisions."

Even with its new Apple Watch Series 4, Apple has tried to be clear by saying that the ECG feature is not any kind of medical diagnostic tool. If there are several consecutive abnormal readings, we will point it out to you. These devices are not for self-diagnosis of your health or to act according to the information they show without seeking the opinion of a real doctor. Smart watches and exercise trackers can detect irregularities or sudden falls, but they are not yet in a place where someone should fully trust them to do so.

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