A large-scale study into heart health among Apple Watch owners is coming to an end, with Apple informing some users who signed up that their contribution is now complete.
The study took the form of an app, previously open to all Apple Watch owners in the U.S., 22-years and older, with a Series 1 or above. Called Apple Heart Study, the initiative was a collaboration between Apple and Stanford Medicine. It launched in November 2017.
It measured heart rate and rhythm using the Apple Watch’s LED sensor and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. Using AI technology, it was then able to isolate heart rhythms from other noise in order to identify irregular heartbeats.
Wearers who had an irregular heart rhythm received a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring. The app served as a demonstration of how researchers can use Apple Watch and Apple’s ResearchKit platform for large-scale research projects that involve gathering large quantities of participant data.
“Through the Apple Heart Study, Stanford Medicine faculty will explore how technology like Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can help usher in a new era of proactive health care central to our Precision Health approach,” said Lloyd Minor, dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, in an Apple press release. “We’re excited to work with Apple on this breakthrough heart study.”
The study was closed to new participants at the start of last month. Apple has said that the study will continue in some form through January, 2019, suggesting that the people who received notifications over the weekend are just a small group of participants.