CHICAGO, November 13 (Reuters) – Apple Inc.’s APPLO.O heart study, the largest to explore the role of wearable devices (Apple Watch) in identifying potential heart problems, found the device could accurately detect atrial fibrillation, which is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, US researchers reported on Wednesday.
The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), come in the form of technology companies, which strike sharply with drug makers as a way to collect large amounts of real-time health data on individuals.
Earlier this month GOOGL.O Google of Alphabet Inc. bought health tracking company Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion.
After Fitbit’s coalition in October, American druggists Bristol-Myers Squibb Co BMY.N and Pfizer Inc. PFE.N placed a condition to develop their technique to spot atrial fibrillation, which significantly increases the risk of stroke.
Smaller players like AliveCor have led the way. AliveCor’s KardiaBand, a mobile phone accessory that can take a medical-grade electrocardiogram (EKG) to detect dangerous heart rhythms, was launched in 2017 by the U.S. Received approval.
The Apple study conducted by researchers of apple at Stanford University School of Medicine tested the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor and algorithm in more than 400,000 participants who used an app to sign up for an eight-month trial.
During the study, only 0.5% of participants received a warning that they had an irregular pulse, a finding the study authors believe should reduce the concern that the device will result in an excess of information in healthy participants.
Those marked for irregular pulse were sent an EKG patch to wear. Among them, atrial fibrillation was found in 34%.
Stanford’s cardiologist and co-author of the study Drs. Mintu Turkhiya stated that the objective was to evaluate how good the algorithm was and whether it was safe.
“If you turn it into the wild, how many people are going to be notified and what does this mean for patients, healthcare systems, payers and patients themselves?” he said.
On that score, Turkhiya said, the test was a success.
NEJM editor Dr. Edward Campion noted in an editorial, however, that everyone in the study had to own both an iPhone and an Apple Watch, which makes all participants sponsor of the study.
Dr. Daniel Cantillon, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who was not involved with the study, called the technology promising, but more than half of those who signed up were under 40, a group already at low risk for atrial fibrillation Was.