Author: Valery Zulia
Tens of millions of people with irregular heartbeats are prescribed expensive blood thinners, which reduce the risk of strokes but also increase the risk of bleeding.
A recent study will check whether Apple Watches may be used as a part of the strategy to reduce these medications’ usage when they are unnecessary.
The seven-year research, expected to begin early next spring, will analyze stroke bleeding and medical expense results.
The research will include two groups of people. The first group of participants will take their usual course of blood thinners. The other group, called experimental, will get medicines only after receiving a command from an Apple Watch.
The research is a significant step for Apple
The research, which aims to involve 5,400 patients, received $37 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The study will focus on a small group of people without a history of congestive heart failure, stroke, or other related illnesses. The American Heart Association, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and the University of California, San Francisco, will also participate in the research.
In the trial’s exploratory arm, cardiovascular care would greatly increase.
As the standard of treatment, this might successfully prevent stroke and reduce bleeding incidents.
Additionally, it would be a success for Apple, which has been actively promoting technologies that may identify irregular heartbeats. They can show how their actions directly affect the course of treatment and may even improve results. Soon, Apple’s iPhone software will have a feature that makes it simpler for users to control their prescriptions.
What Apple offered
The equipment for the research will be provided by Google. As part of its commitment, the company is helping academics create a special algorithm for the study.
More often than other methods, this one will check participants’ heart rhythms. The program will notify patients to take blood thinners until equipment is available.
Additionally, they won’t need to take medication permanently if fibrillation is found; it would happen automatically.
The fact that the Apple Watch is widely accessible and allows many individuals to use technology instead of specialized implantable devices is a huge benefit.
How reliable and accurate a new algorithm is
According to information made available by the Food and Drug Administration, a review of algorithms used in the Apple Watch showed an 88.6% sensitivity in identifying people with irregular heartbeats.
The accuracy of user wearables can greatly impact any decision since these data serve as a vital reminder.
Science has progressed, thanks to the creation and adoption of these tools. They show how having access to them improves the quality of life and saves lives. This partnership between consumer electronics companies and the medical industry demonstrates that these items are more than just devices for the general public. They may also assist in medical treatment. It is a reasonable and significant illustration of how such combinations may function.
Confirming many suppositions about how digital devices might improve health is necessary. To provide information that doctors, and patients can utilize, the researchers must evaluate the entire data processing system, not just the hardware or software. Since digital health interventions are complex, it is crucial to try the complete overview.