NEW ORLEANS — The Apple Watch detected irregular heartbeat patterns indicative of atrial fibrillation, according to preliminary data presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.
A mobile app on the Apple Watch measured blood flow activity using light sensor technology, known as photoplethysmography, to identify changes suggestive of irregular contraction or heartbeat, according to the researchers. The Apple Watch creates a tachogram to plot the time between heartbeats. If the watch detects an irregular tachogram, it collects more heartbeat data. The tachograms are then analyzed and if an irregular rhythm is present, a notification is sent to the user.
“The app continuously gathers data in the background without the wearer of the device doing anything, so it’s very opportunistic in this way,” Mintu Turakhia, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, and the study’s co-principal investigator, said in a press release.
“[Overall], this study improves our understanding of how this wearable technology and app works in the real-world setting and how well the technology can detect long periods of [atrial fibrillation],” he added. “Notifications of heart rhythm irregularities were low, an important finding given concerns about over notification, and we were able to see what happened downstream after participants received a notification.”
The Apple Watch detected irregular heartbeat patterns indicative of atrial fibrillation.
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For more information on Turakhia’s study, please click here. – by Alaina Tedesco
Turakhia MP. Joint American College of Cardiology and Journal of American College of Cardiology Late-Breaking Clinical Trials. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Session; March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans.
Disclosures: The study was sponsored by Apple. Perez reports he receives consultant fees/honoraria and research support from Apple. Poole reports she receives consultant fees/honoraria from Boston Scientific and Medtronic and research support from AtriCure, Biotronik and Kestra. Lopes reports he receives consultant fees/honoraria from Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronic, Merck, Pfizer and Portola and research support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronic and Pfizer.