Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with Apple to study whether the Apple Watch can detect atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of strokes among Americans. Together both companies are conducting the Heartline Study to see if the Apple Watch can help with stroke prevention.
Last year, Apple teamed up with researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine to see if smartwatches can be used to identify potential heart problems. The Heart Study, which took place over a period of eight months, had over 400,000 participants of all ages. And, according to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Apple proved it was able to accurately detect atrial fibrillation in participants.
How Does the Apple Watch Help With Stroke Prevention?
After the success of the Heart Study, the FDA gave Apple clearance to use apps that take electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. This means the Apple Watch can detect users’ heart rates and rhythms. The study aims to detect heart rate anomalies, which could lead to early diagnosis and stroke prevention.
“What we’re trying to do here is definitively answer that question: If you take wearable technology and couple it with an app, can you reduce the risk of a stroke or death?” Paul Burton, vice president of medical affairs at the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary conducting the study, said.
The Heartline Study app will also provide tips that will cover a variety of heart health topics.
For the Heartline Study, Apple is looking to track 150,000 participants over a period of three years. This will include a two-year active engagement period, followed by a year of additional data collection.
How to Participate in the Apple Watch Stroke Prevention Study
This week, Johnson & Johnson announced that they are opening enrollment of study participants.
To join the study, you have to be at least 65 years old, a resident of the US, and an Original Medicare holder. You also have to own an iPhone 6s or any later iPhone model.
Eligible participants will be randomly placed in one of two possible groups. The first group will download, install, and use the Heartline Study app on their iPhone. Meanwhile, the second group will use the app on their iPhone and the heart health features on the Apple Watch.
Participants can either purchase their own Apple Watch Series 5 for $49 or borrow one for free for the duration of the study. This is a significant saving, considering that the Apple Watch currently costs $399 for the base model. You can also earn points for participating in the study that you can redeem for up to $150 in compensation.
If you want to know more about the Apple Watch Series 5, check out our list of the best smartwatches for 2020.