The Stanford University of Medicine has published its long-awaited research on the Apple Heart Study, one of the largest research efforts of its kind that relies on portable consumer devices to better understand human health.
The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, come as technology companies increasingly partner with drug companies to collect large amounts of real-time data on people’s health.
The Apple study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, tested the heart rate sensor and Apple’s smartwatch algorithm with over 400,000 participants with an Apple watch and used the application to record the eight-month trial.
About 0.5 percent of the study participants, just over 2,000 people, received a warning that they had an irregular pulse, and the authors of the research believe that the results should allay fears that the device would increase alerts in healthy participants.
A portable EKG patch was sent to monitor the heartbeat for two weeks before returning it to people who had received an irregular pulse warning, revealing atrial fibrillation between 34 percent of them.
“The goal was to evaluate the quality of the algorithm and whether it is safe,” said Dr. Minto Turakhia, a cardiologist at Stanford University and one of the authors involved in the study.
Dr. Daniel Cantillon, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic who did not participate in the study, described the technology as promising but said that more than half of the people who registered were under 40 years old. is a group at higher risk of atrial fibrillation.