If you possess an Apple Watch, consider participating in the Apple Heart Study. A new app now available uses Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation. The condition is a leading cause of stroke and since many people don’t experience symptoms, it often goes undiagnosed.
The device’s sensor uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. Signals are sampled from four distinct points on the wrist, and when combined with powerful software algorithms, the watch isolates heart rhythms from other noise. The Apple Heart Study app uses this technology to identify an irregular heart rhythm.
The company is partnering with Stanford Medicine to perform the research. Should an irregular heart rhythm be identified, participants will receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram patch for additional monitoring. The Apple Heart Study app is available in the U.S. App Store to customers who are 22 years or older and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.