tech2 News Staff
17. March 2019 10:29:00 IST
The Apple Watch was able to detect irregular heart rate rates, which could be further monitoring for a serious cardiac arrhythmia problem, data from a large study funded by Apple , show a potential future role for wearable consumer technology in healthcare.
The researchers hope the technology can help in the early detection of atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heartbeat. Patients with untreated AF have a stroke five times more likely.
Results of Largest AF Examination and The Discovery Study, involving over 400,000 Apple Watch users, which were invited to attend, was presented on Saturday at the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
Stanford Medical School researchers said that out of the 400,000 participants, 0.5 percent or approximately 2,000 subjects received notifications of an irregular heart rate. These people were sent an ECG patch (electrocardiography) for subsequent detection of atrial fibrillation episodes.
One-third of those whose watches detected an irregular heart rate were confirmed via atrial fibrillation using ECG technology.
About 84 percent of the irregular Pulse messages were later confirmed as AF episodes.  19659004] "The doctor can use the information from the study, combine it with his assessment … and then guide clinical decisions on what to do with a warning," Dr. Marco Perez, one of the lead investigators of the study from . Stanford School of Medicine .
The study also found that 57 percent of participants who received an alarm on their watch went to a doctor.
For Apple, the data provides firepower as they advance into healthcare. His new Series 4 Watch, which was available only after the study began and is therefore not in use, has the ability to generate an electrocardiogram to detect heart problems and required the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Deepak Bhatt, cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study, called it an important study, as the use of this type of wearable technology will only become more widespread.
"The study is an important first step in finding out How can we use these technologies in an evidence-based manner," he said.
The researchers urged physicians to be cautious about using data from consumer devices in the treatment of patients. But you also see a great future potential for this type of technology.
"Atrial fibrillation is just the beginning, as this study opens the door to further research into portable technologies and their possible development of disease before it is used." said Lloyd Minor, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine.
With input from Reuters
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