Apple announced on Wednesday that it has given Apple Watch units to researchers from around the world to aid in the exploration of new areas in heart health. According to the research, a typical, healthy adult’s heart beats more than 100,000 times in a single day. A picture that is largely unseen starts to take shape beat by beat and day by day.
Apple provides consumers with an ongoing, active view of their health with its heart health features, which include high and low heart rate notifications, Cardio Fitness, irregular rhythm notifications, the ECG app, and AFib History.
According to Apple, researchers, clinicians, and developers have discovered cutting-edge new methods to investigate, track, and treat a wide spectrum of diseases since Apple debuted ResearchKit and CareKit in 2015.
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Apple started the Investigator Support Program to encourage research that will ultimately lead to widespread health improvements. Through this programme, Apple offers researchers Apple Watch devices, enabling them to make significant advancements in health research, including the understanding of the heart from a scientific perspective.
Apple is highlighting the innovative work being done by health professionals all over the world who are utilising Apple Watch to study the heart in a way that has never been done before.
The company has disclosed that Dr. Claudia Toro and Associate Professor Rachel Conyers are senior paediatric oncologists from Melbourne, Australia. Together, they are examining the potential effects of treatment on cardiac rhythm and attempting to come up with creative strategies to intervene.
“I read about the Apple Heart Study and I thought this could be important for paediatrics,” said Dr. Conyers. “We used to think of cardiac toxicity as something that happened 10 years after treatment. But now we know that new cancer therapies (like specific inhibitors or immune therapy) can cause arrhythmias within 48 hours of medication — so there’s a big gap in terms of what we know about the toxicities at the moment.”
To further understand how wildfire smoke affects heart health, Dr. Cheong at Texas A&M University and Drs. Brian Kim and Marco Perez at Stanford Medicine will start providing Apple Watches to firefighters the first week of next month. Up to 200 firemen from Texas and California who work in the wildland fire season (spring and summer respectively) will participate in the study.
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The study will use Apple Watch to track data on activity, sleep, blood oxygenation, heart rate and rhythm, and more. Also, firefighters will wear an air quality monitor and complete surveys about their sleep, activities, and illnesses brought on by wildfire smoke.
The anticipated prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in the European Union is predicted to quadruple by 2060, according to epidemiology experts in the region. AFib is a common heart arrhythmia that, if untreated, can have catastrophic consequences, including an increased risk of stroke or heart failure.
Dr. Sebastiaan Blok, director of eHealth at the Cardiology Centres of the Netherlands, and his colleagues are researching strategies to identify AFib sooner at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers. As part of a wider project named HartWacht, the first reimbursable eHealth idea, the researchers have created a randomised controlled study.
They intend to include more than 300 patients who are above 65 and meet the AFib risk criterion in their trial. The intervention group, which makes up half of the participants, will wear Apple Watch for at least 12 hours per day.
Participants are required to take an ECG as part of the study’s protocol once every three weeks or as soon as any symptoms appear. The researchers will get in touch with the participant and give them instructions on how to take an ECG and share the results if they receive a notification of an abnormal rhythm.
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