In late 2017, Apple launched the Apple Heart Study, a public study through which Apple Watch users could provide their data (anonymously) on heart rate to analyze potential problems at the general level and help medical research. The study appears to have been so successful that it is now the largest ever to study arrhythmia.
According to the American Heart Journal, Apple’s study in collaboration with Stanford University has yielded a total of 419,093 participants . This was limited to U.S. citizens and between December 2017 and July 2018. To put this in context, the second largest study was conducted in Sweden with 25,000 people.
It is expected that the results of the study will be released in early 2019 . In them we will be able to get some general statistics of the population as far as their heart is concerned. Although Stanford University is particularly interested in detecting atrial fibrillation. Since it is a disease that usually has no previous symptoms, it is more difficult to detect if not with a continuous sensor (in this case the Apple Watch).
AppleApple launches Heart Study: Give away your heart data and improve research into heart problems
That this study had 16 times more participants than the next one is no coincidence. Apple has the ability to do such large studies with little effort, since has a large distribution of Apple Watch throughout the world . There is the sensor, there are the volunteers and there is the system to obtain the data. From there, the only thing left is for the universities to take advantage of this data.
If we look at the last few years, the Apple Watch is almost a private cardiologist . It analyses our pulse several times an hour, can be linked to large-scale studies, can detect arrhythmia thanks to the built-in ECG and, most importantly, saves lives.