Mayo Clinic algorithm for Apple Watch shows early promise in detecting heart problems

A new study by researchers at Mayo Clinic is exploring the feasibility of using an algorithm to detect a weak heart pump from electrocardiograms recorded on Apple Watch.

30 more countries now support Apple Watch's ECG app with watchOS 7.6
Apple Watch’s ECG (electrocardiogram) app

With the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, patients who experience symptoms such as rapid or skipped heartbeat, or receive the irregular rhythm notification, can capture an ECG and record their symptoms. This real world data can enable you to make more informed and timely decisions regarding further evaluation and care.

The ECG app uses the electrical heart sensor built into the Digital Crown and the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 4 or later to record a single lead ECG similar to a Lead I ECG. The ECG app then provides a result of sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, atrial fibrillation with high heart rate, or poor recording, and prompts the user to enter any symptoms such as rapid or pounding heartbeat, dizziness, or fatigue. The waveform, results, date, time, and any symptoms are recorded and can be exported from the Health app as a PDF to share with a clinician. If the patient notes symptoms that indicate a serious condition, they are prompted to immediately call emergency services.

Casey Ross for STAT:

If validated in additional testing, the algorithm would allow users to detect the potentially fatal condition outside medical settings, enabling earlier treatment.

Perhaps even more importantly, the study established that such testing can be done on broad populations rapidly in a decentralized trial.

The algorithm accurately flagged a small number of patients with a weak heart pump in a study presented Sunday at the annual Heart Rhythm Society conference in San Francisco.

MacDailyNews Note: The Mayo Clinic algorithm was tested in a decentralized study that collected more than 125,000 Apple Watch ECGs from participants in 46 U.S. states and 11 countries.

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    1. Saved my mother’s life. She had no symptoms, felt fine, but the watch alerted her to an irregular heartbeat. Went to the cardiologist who did a full ECG and said “You need a pacemaker. Now.”

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