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Study: Apple Watch can detect abnormal heart rhythm

The study achieved 97 percent accuracy in the ability to find irregular heart activity



By EMS1 Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — A study by the University of California, San Francisco, found that the Apple Watch is 97 percent accurate in detecting an abnormal heart rhythm. reported that the study involved 6,158 participants, who were recruited through the Cardiogram app. A majority of participants had normal EKG readings, but 200 were diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heartbeat.

The study began in 2016 to determine if the smart watch could detect a stroke. Cardiogram engineers trained a deep neural network to identify the abnormal heart rhythms, according to the report. They tested the network against 51 in-hospital cardioversions; officials said they achieved 97 percent accuracy in the neural network’s ability to find irregular heart activity.

Brandon Ballinger, Cardiogram co-founder and data scientist for UCSF’s eHeart study, said the algorithm holds promise in trying to identify and prevent stroke.

Cardiogram and UCSF said they will continue their study and plan to investigate the “ability to detect conditions beyond atrial fibrillation.”