The Spotlight's on Apple Watch as an mHealth Tool for Cardiac Care

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"Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib". And the benefits of joining the study may offer you some incredibly valuable insight into your heart health.

Along with the KardiaBand, an mHealth-enabled watch band that records a patient's EKG in 30 seconds, AliveCor is launching SmartRhythm, a feature within the company's Kardia mobile app that allows Apple Watch users to synch heart rate and activity sensors in the watch to track heart rate and activity. The Apple Heart Study app utilizes the sensor and technology in the Apple Watch to identify when heart rhythms are irregular.

With photodiodes, the app can analyse the amount of blood flowing through your wrist, and if it notices you may be suffering from atrial fibrillation, it'll send you a notification. Some people don't have any symptoms and don't even realize they have it until it's discovered during a physical exam, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study is open to US participants 22 years of age or older. You must be 22 years or older to participate.

AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and can lead to heart failure or even stroke if left unchecked.

Though the Watch can't diagnose any conditions just yet, it is perfectly positioned to detect an irregular heart beat and alert those with a serious condition who may want to check it out further with a medical professional. Jeff Williams, Apple's COO, said, "Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science".

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"We're excited to work with Apple on this breakthrough heart study".

With news coming that some insurance companies are giving Apple watches to their members to help improve wellness, this may be another avenue to encourage health insurers or other agencies to recommend the Apple Watch in an increasingly competitive wearable market. However, the study focused exclusively on results from the Apple Watch. In our initial studies Apple Watch has been effective at surfacing irregular rhythms.

The Apple Watch is key element in Stanford's mHealth research. Then, they often must visit them in person to collect data.

He also noted that the Apple Watch has successfully identified arrhythmia in previous third-party studies.

Participants can leave the study at any time. But Apple researchers said they believe the Watch will provide a representative sample of the population for their study.