The Longevity

Apple & American Well Partner to Test Apple Watch’s Accuracy in Heart Monitoring

Amidst the unveiling of its long-anticipated iPhone X and other new gadgets on Tuesday, Apple also announced a partnership with telemedicine giant American Well. The goal: to test whether its latest Series 3 Apple Watch can accurately detect abnormal heart rhythms and potentially diagnose unknown heart problems before a health crisis.

Apple is partnering with telemedicine giant American Well and Stanford University to test the performance of its new Series 3 Watch in detecting abnormal heart rhythms and, by extension, diagnose users’ potential heart problems.

….The idea is to test the Watch as a replacement for traditional heart sensors—but only if it’s proven to be accurate and consistent.

The Apple Watch 3 will come with a revamped heart rate monitor, which will collect data on things like post-workout recovery heart rate and abnormal spikes in heart rate while at rest. The heart rhythm tracking feature could be particularly important for patients who may not know that they suffer from cardiac arrhythmias, including those who have atrial fibrillation (AFib). At least 2.7 million Americans have the condition, which consists of an irregular heart beat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart problems including heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.

Rumors have been swirling since at least June that Apple is ramping up its efforts in healthcare, when CNBC first reported that the tech giant was “quietly working on turning your iPhone inot the one-stop shop for all your medical info”.

The company’s ResearchKit service has been used by dozens of big-name drug makers and medical academic institutions for clinical research…Rumors have also been swirling that Apple wants to create a glucose monitoring app that could be used by people with diabetes.

While the company’s health care ambitions are lofty, CEO Tim Cook told Fortune in a recent interview that it’s entirely possible some of its bets in this field will never actually become money makers. Heart monitoring, however, could be an important opportunity.

“We started working on the Apple Watch several years ago. And we were focused on wellness. And wellness was about activity monitoring and also about performing some measurements of your health that people were not measuring, at least continually. Like your heart,” he told Fortune. “Very few people wore heart monitors. So when we got into working on the watch we began to realize that the things that we could do were even more profound than that.”

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