April 22, 2019 – Apple Watch and A-fib


Anchor lead: A new study may help define the role of the Apple watch in a common heart condition, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Can an Apple watch be used to detect atrial fibrillation? That’s a very common heart condition many people describe as a fluttering, and it’s linked to strokes. Yes, an impressively large study revealed, finding such an issue in a surprising number of young participants. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the real proof should emerge in a current study.

Michos: The next step in a study called the HEARTLINE study is to have a control arm. That study is going to enroll people over the age of 65 where atrial fibrillation is more common, and they’re going to randomize people to a watch versus no watch and then look at meaningful outcomes. Is there going to be a difference in stroke rate, in death rate, in bleeding rate, between having this device and not. The watch will be combined with the EKG app on the phone.  :25

For now, Michos says much data needs to be collected and improvements made to both the device and the apps before they can reliably be used to monitor health conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.