Apple Heart Study on the App Store - iTunes

An artificial intelligence-based device embedded into the Apple Watch can help users know when a stroke is likely to occur

According to a landing page updated by Stanford Medicine, the study is open to US 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. Earlier this year, the Stanford Center for Digital Health offered $10,000 and 1,000 Apple Watches to innovators who "stimulate and support" creative uses for the smartwatch in mHealth projects. This is hardly the first health study Apple initiated in recent years, but it's definitely one of the most ambitious ones.

Today, Apple launched the Apple Heart Study app.

"Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib", noted Apple COO Jeff Williams, in a press release. The app uses this technology combined with software algorithms to identify an irregular heart rhythm.

That same ongoing study has also concluded the same results may be available to any wearable heart rate sensor, including those found within Garmin, Fitbit or Android Wear as they all have similar components.

First announced at Apple's big press event in September, the new app passively monitors users' heart rhythms and heart rates for signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heart rhythm that Apple says is the leading cause of stroke and is responsible for 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year.

The Heart Study app, first announced in September during the iPhone X launch, is available for US adults over the age of 22 and on all three series of Apple Watch.

That trigger provides an immediate opportunity for participants to speak with a doctor, who can assess the data and determine whether the patient needs immediate medical care or a follow-up consultation. Since the launch of Apple's open-source ResearchKit in 2015, universities have been able to use the iPhone and Apple Watch in their medical research. Now go to the Identify your Apple Watch web page and match your model number to the list. That includes all models except the original Apple Watch. By enrolling using devices, Apple has said, it makes it easier for scientists to both find and monitor study participants.

Apple declined to say how long the study will run.

Working with Apple is the Stanford Medicine department, which will perform the actual study.

Hayley Tsukayama is a Washington Post writer.

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