New Apple Watch study aims to to help detect early heart failure

The latest Apple Watch health study has been announced by the University Health Network (UHN) in Canada. The goal of the study is to research how Apple’s wearable can “can drive better clinical outcomes for heart failure patients.”

Reported by Newswise, the UHN Apple Watch heart study will be led by renowned Canadian cardiologist Dr. Heather Ross, of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

The length of the study will be three months and will be done in collaboration with Apple to see “if remote monitoring with Apple Watch can help with early identification of worsening heart failure.”

Notably, the new Blood Oxygen sensor and app is part of this study which means participants will be using the Apple Watch Series 6.

In this study, data collected using an Apple Watch will be compared to data routinely collected from the rigorous physical tests that patients normally undergo, to see if Apple Watch health sensors and features, including the Blood Oxygen app and mobility metrics, can provide early warning for worsening heart failure.

Dr. Ross shared optimism about the role Apple Watch could play in providing precise, accurate data to in turn offer early warning signs for heart failure:

“We think that biometric data derived from Apple Watch may provide comparable, precise, and accurate measurements of fitness, prognostic markers and early warning signals, compared to traditional diagnostics,” says Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology, at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Scientific Lead, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and this study’s lead researcher. Combining this new technology with expertise in biomedical science, and leveraging the existing Peter Munk Digital Cardiovascular Health Platform for 8,000 heart failure patients already followed by UHN, should give patients and clinicians an exciting new opportunity to gain more precise, in the moment assessments of heart health.

Apple’s Dr. Sumbul Desai shared humility and excitement about partnering with UHN for this new Apple Watch heart study:

“Surfacing heart health insights has played a key role in the evolution of Apple Watch and we’re continually humbled by the responses we hear from users on the impact it has had on their lives,” says Dr. Sumbul Desai, Apple’s vice president of Health. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with UHN and Dr. Heather Ross to better understand how the powerful sensors in Apple Watch can potentially help patients better manage heart failure, from the comfort of their own home.”

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