Apple and Stanford University School of Medicine have been watching American hearts since November 2017. 419,093 smartwatch wearers participated in scientific work aimed at exploring the capabilities of Apple Watch in the early diagnosis of heart disease. It turned out that 0.5% of them - about 2,000 people - received a notification warning of heart rhythm disturbances. Stanford Medical School considers this result "an important finding given concerns about the potential for high notification rates."
At the same time, health experts are concerned that providing consumers with large amounts of data on their health may create an additional and not always justified burden on the health care system, reports The Verge.
The experts' warnings are not groundless: in the course of the study, participants who were sent notifications about their heart rhythm status also received an electronic consultation and an electrocardiogram for further health monitoring.
According to a report from Stanford Medical School, Apple Watch diagnostics using dedicated ECG patches were 71% effective. At the time of notification, 84% of participants with abnormal heart rhythms experienced atrial fibrillation. During the following week, the diagnosis was confirmed in 34% of the participants. At the same time, doctors explain, atrial fibrillation is a periodic condition, so it is not surprising that the subsequent percentage of diagnoses is so low.
It is also reported that 50% of participants, after receiving notifications, sought medical attention.
Stanford sees the Apple Heart Study as a step towards starting additional research on how gadgets can be useful to consumers beyond their primary entertainment and communication functions.>