The Apple Watch
is probably the most recent Apple success story. In a time when the wearables segment was populated with timepieces that were considered geeky gadgets, Apple managed to market the Watch as a stylish accessory. Through the years, it has managed to add and expand on its features in meaningful ways. It's not only a great companion to your iPhone but also a pretty good tracker for fitness, lifestyle, and health. Basically, if you have one, you have very little reason to not carry it daily.
The stories of how the Apple Watch has saved someone's life started pouring in over the last couple of years. Be it because the timepiece allowed somebody who was otherwise constrained to call 911, because of its fall detection which immediately calls an emergency contact, or because of its detection of heart irregularities
But Apple is not done, it seems. A new partnership between the Heartline Study project and Johnson & Johnson will focus specifically on developing ways for the Apple Watch to detect early signs of atrial fibrillation
. The latter is considered the leading cause of a stroke, so being able to pick up early signs will definitely be a huge deal to anyone that is at risk.
The Apple Watch already has the capability to detect signs of arrhythmia, which is why it is believed it could also potentially be able to look for atrial fibrillation. This also means that when this feature (whenever and if ever) goes live, it should also come to older gen Apple Watches (Series 4 and up). The study is planned to go on over the next 3 years.
How to participate in the Heartline study:
- Live in the US
- 65 years of age or older
- Have original Medicare
- Use an iPhone 6s or older
- Agree to provide Medicare claims data access
You may have noticed that there is no Apple Watch in the requirements. This is because the participants will be split in two groups — one side will only use the Heartline Study app on their iPhone, without a Watch. The other half will be required to use an Apple Watch Series 5 and there will be loaner units available for those that don't own one.