JAMA ( IF 45.540 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-14 , DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.21593 Jennifer Abbasi
Researchers tested a smartwatch-based irregular pulse notification algorithm for suspected atrial fibrillation among more than 400 000 US participants in a recent trial. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, came from the Apple Heart Study, a collaboration between technology giant Apple and Stanford Medicine.
Over a median of 117 days, 2161 participants received irregular pulse notifications identifying possible atrial fibrillation and were then mailed an electrocardiography (ECG) patch to wear for 7 days. Thirty-four percent of participants who mailed back patches had the condition on subsequent ECG readings. The ECGs confirmed irregular pulse notifications as atrial fibrillation 84% of the time among participants who used the watch and the patch simultaneously.
However, only a fifth of participants with irregular pulse notifications returned an ECG patch for analysis. The authors of an accompanying editorial wrote that while wearable devices will facilitate health research, “obtaining long-term participant commitment and compliance may become a greater challenge.”