UPDATE March 20, 2019: The results of the “Apple Heart Study” were just released at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Read my comment at the end of this post for an update.
Today, Apple released its ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification feature.
The announcement about the technology was made with great fanfare a couple of months ago, when Apple also revealed that the device had received approval by the FDA. This raised some eyebrows because—according to some—the technology was being approved and released to the public without evidence of effectiveness or harm.
What is so unique and novel about the product is that it claims to be able to detect atrial fibrillation, or “a.fib,” which is a common irregularity of the heart rhythm. A.fib is not usually fatal but it can be a problem for two reasons.
First, the arrhythmia causes and irregularity and rapidity of the pulse that can provoke palpitations and also impair the pumping capacity of the heart. This typically causes symptoms, so that people who develop a.fib typically become aware of the problem and seek medical attention relatively promptly.
But not everybody is necessarily aware that they have a.fib.Read more