Apple, Johnson & Johnson Launch 'Heartline' Study

Joanna Estrada
February 27, 2020

Open enrollment began Tuesday. Users will get a notification letting them know that they had an irregular heart rhythm, which could lead to something severe and knowing about it ASAP can save lives.

The study's goal is to determine if the Heartline Study app, combined with the Apple Watch ECG function, can reduce the likelihood of a stroke and improve health outcomes with earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib).

The program, dubbed the Heartline Study, uses an app that can be downloaded for free from the App Store, and is open to US residents who are age 65 or older, have an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 12.2 or later, and have "Original" or "Traditional" medicare.

AFib, which the press release calls "a leading cause of stroke" is especially hard to detect, because it's asymptomatic, sneaking up on patients and not giving any warnings - until a cardiovascular event hits.

AFib, which is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, actually results in 158,000 deaths and about 454,000 hospitalizations each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UU.

Apple is teaming up with Johnson & Johnson and Best Buy to recruit volunteers for a new randomized digital health study.

The app itself will provide ongoing tips and surveys, while the Apple Watch will deliver heart rate rhythm data to the app, where researchers will be able to evaluate the data.

Participants in this study will participate remotely, using their iPhones and Apple Watches, instead of having to travel to a clinical site.

The irregular rhythm notification feature will provide notifications of irregular heart rhythms suggestive of AFib. A study published in November suggested that Apple Watches are good at detecting atrial fibrillation, but most of its participants did not complete the study.

Johnson & Johnson aims to expand on the usefulness of the Apple Watch ECG feature for that goal both to collect data on potential stroke victims to determine ways in which the risk of stroke could be reduced while also providing feedback to help users engage in heart-healthy activities and gain further insight into how lifestyle changes can impact their heart.

- C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D., Co-Chair of the Heartline Executive Committee and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and CEO, Baim Institute.

"Apple technology is making a meaningful impact on scientific research through the powerful capabilities of iPhone and Apple Watch, all with privacy at the center of the participant experience", Apple's Head of Health Strategic Initiatives Myoung Cha said in a statement. A press release provided details on J&J's own app, Heartline Study, which is going to work with the Apple Watch's heart health features to see if they can "improve health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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