“Apple Inc is at the forefront of researching how wearable electronic devices may improve healthcare,” Todd Campbell writes for Seeking Alpha. “With the help of Stanford Medicine, it launched a first-in-kind study two years ago to find out if Apple Watches can identify a life-threatening irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation (AFib). Recently released results from the trial, which enrolled 419,297 Apple Watch owners, suggest wearables could help change how we diagnose disease.”

“There was concern when the study was announced that it could result in too many false positives. Fortunately, that didn’t happen,” Campbell writes. “The algorithm identified irregularities in slightly more than 3% of over-65-year-old patients and only 0.16% of people under age 40. Overall, 2,161 patients were notified of an abnormal reading, or 0.52% of total participants in the study.”

Apple Watch Series 1 or later with watchOS 5.1.2 sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm such as AFib, is identified. Apple Watch Series 1 or later with watchOS 5.1.2 sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm such as AFib, is identified.

 
“Johnson & Johnson is launching a new AFib study with Apple that will enroll 180,000 people over age 65,” Campbell writes. “Patients could achieve better outcomes, healthcare systems could see a drop in costs from treating fewer stroke patients, J&J could identify new patients for its heart treatments, and Apple Watch could go from a nice-to-have to a must-have consumer electronics device.”

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