Credit: Daniel Korpai
Apple, Best Buy and Johnson & Johnson have teamed up for a new health study called Heartline. Launched last Tuesday, the study hopes to determine whether the Apple Watch can accurately detect atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heart rhythm, in seniors.
More specifically, Heartline is focused on whether or not the Apple Watch can detect AFib early enough to reduce the likelihood of a stroke.
While Apple has launched various heart and AFib-related studies in the past, this new initiative is a big deal for a number of reasons.
For one, the scope. The Heartline coalition hopes to recruit 150,000 people for a randomized study. That would make it one of the largest of its kind.
It also represents an unprecedented partnership between technology, pharmaceuticals and retail.
Because the study is so large, it may take years for the results to get published. But the study could also go a long way toward alleviating medical concerns about the Apple Watch.
Previous AFib studies found that the Apple Watch can accurately detect an irregular heart rhythm. But most of the Apple Watch’s users, and the study participants, are younger and healthier than the most common demographic impacted by AFib.
Open enrollment for Heartline began last week. Anyone aged 65 or older, covered by Medicare and owning an iPhone 6 or newer is eligible to apply for the study.
Half of those enrolled in the initiative will be instructed to use the Heartline app and incorporate health tips into their day-to-day lives. The other half of participants will use both the app and an Apple Watch.
Participants won’t need to have an Apple Watch to apply, either.
If selected for the Apple Watch group, enrollees can use their own watchOS device, borrow one for the duration of the study, or get a heavily subsidized Apple Watch Series 5 from Best Buy for just $49.
Users may also be able to receive cash rewards for meeting certain health goals within the Heartline app, which also connects to Medicare’s Blue Button API.
If you fit the criteria and you’re interested in signing up, more details and applications can be found on the Heartline website.
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