Apple Watch can detect arrhythmias other than AFib, Apple/Stanford study shows

Apple and Stanford Medicine have published new data from the ongoing Apple Heart Study that uses data from Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms. As first reported by MyHealthyApple, the latest research published this week in the American Heart Association Journal shows that the Apple Watch can detect arrhythmias other than atrial fibrillation (AFib/AF).

The background of the study:

The Apple watch irregular pulse detection algorithm was found to have a positive predictive value of 0.84 for identification of atrial fibrillation (AF). We sought to describe the prevalence of arrhythmias other than AF in those with an irregular pulse detected on a smartwatch.

The secondary analysis involved giving participants an ambulatory ECG patch after receiving an irregular pulse notification from their Apple Watch. The study excluded participants with previously identified AFib in order to focus on the “prevalence of other arrhythmias on the remaining participant ECG patches.”

As recapped by MyHealthyApple, the results of the study:

Among 419,297 participants enrolled in the Apple Heart Study, 450 participant ECG patches were analyzed, with no AF on 297 ECG patches (66%). Non-AF arrhythmias (excluding supraventricular tachycardias <30 beats and pauses <3 seconds) were detected in 119 participants (40.1%) with ECG patches without AFib. 76 participants (30.5%) reported subsequent AF diagnoses.

In participants with an irregular pulse notification on the Apple Watch and no AF observed on ECG patch, atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, mostly PACs and PVCs, were detected in 40% of participants.

The Apple Watch Series 7, due to be released sometime this fall, does not feature any new health sensors. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal, however, detailed that Apple is continuing its development of features such as blood pressure technology, more advanced sleep tracking, blood glucose monitoring, body temperature, and more.

This new research also shows how Apple can continue to improve the existing sensors in the Apple Watch with new features and expanded monitoring capabilities. You can read the full research report in the American Heart Association Journal.

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