Apple, Stanford Medicine team up to research heart rhythm via Apple Watch

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The study is open to anyone who wishes to participate - as long as they are at least 22 years of age and they own an Apple Watch Series 1 (not 1st generation) or above. And the benefits of joining the study may offer you some incredibly valuable insight into your heart health. Called the Apple Heart Study app, it uses the watch's heart rate sensor to detect irregularities. The most helpful part about this initiative is that the app will notify you if it senses irregular heart rhythms, which could indicate atrial fibrillation, an irregular or rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke. The Apple Heart Study app utilizes the sensor and technology in the Apple Watch to identify when heart rhythms are irregular.

Explained:What is atrial fibrillation anyway?

According to a landing page updated by Stanford Medicine, the study is open to USA residents 22 years or older that have not been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and own at least an iPhone 5S and a Series 1 Apple Watch.

Apple has been quite determined to make the Apple Watch more than just an accessory or iPhone companion - it wants its readings to be able to help with healthcare in any way they can. "But the challenge is, many people with AFib don't feel symptoms, so it often goes undiagnosed".

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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.

"Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science", said Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams, in a statement.

Participants in the study will have their heart rate continuously monitored.

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. That includes all models except the original Apple Watch. The watch then uses algorithms to isolate heart rhythms from other "noise". However, the study focused exclusively on results from the Apple Watch. Apple says it doesn't have any identifying information on study participants. Traditionally, researchers have had to seek out study participants directly - through medical facilities, by email or with fliers. But Apple researchers said they believe the Watch will provide a representative sample of the population for their study.

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