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New Johnson & Johnson study aiming to add stroke detection to Apple Watch

Published on 26/02/20 at 09:55am

Johnson & Johnson announced that Janssen Pharmaceuticals will work in collaboration with Apple to explore apps for stroke detection.

It is designed to explore if the Heartline Study app on Apple Watch and iPhone, with its heart health features, can improve health outcomes which includes reducing the risk of stroke. It will achieve this by attempting to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common form of irregular heart rhythm, and a leading cause of stroke, much earlier.

The two companies will conduct a clinical study which will be offered to eligible US adults who are aged 65 or older, have at least an IPhone 6S, have Medicare and agree to provide access to their Medicare claims data.

Paul Burton, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Internal medicine at Janssen, commented on the study, saying: “Through this important collaboration with Apple, we are pioneering new models that we hope can break down some of the most common barriers to participation in clinical studies. Our work continues to develop and deliver solutions for those impacted by AFib in the areas of detection, treatment and care, through novel approaches, so that we can potentially improve their lives today and well into the future

More than 33 million people worldwide live with AFib. Despite it being a prominent cause of stroke, people don’t often experience symptoms, and up to 30% do not even know they have it until a serious cardiovascular event occurs. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AFib causes 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalizations each year.

Myoung Cha, Apple’s Head of Health Strategic Initiatives, said: “Apple technology is making a meaningful impact on scientific research through the powerful capabilities of iPhone and Apple Watch, all with privacy at the center of the participant experience. The Heartline™ Study will help further understanding of how our technology could both contribute to science and help improve health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke.”

The study will span over three years, which contains two years of active engagement and one year of additional data collection. Participants will receive health education on the heart, and as well as complete questionnaires about multiple topics related to heart health each week.  

Conor Kavanagh

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