Apple has released it’s own Heart Study app for the iPhone and Apple Watch as part of a ResearchKit study to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and potentially serious heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation. The app forms part of a new study being done in collaboration with Stanford Medicine, and while it’s not the first heart study to be done using Apple’s technology — a similar study was conducted earlier this year by the University of California and the third-party app Cardiogram — this new study represents the first direct participation by Apple in a ResearchKit project.
The new Apple Heart Study app is designed to passively monitor a user’s heart rate and heat rhythm, notifying users when an irregular heart rhythm is observed, often an indication of atrial fibrillation. Users who are notified of irregular heart rhythms will be shown a free video consultation on the iPhone that will provide further analysis from the study’s medical professionals and connect them with a board-certified, licensed primary care provider from American Well, at any time, day or night. Apple also notes that participation in the heart study aspect of the app is voluntary, with users required to give consent for participation, while affirming that heart rate sensor data is collected anonymously for research analysis and no personally identifiable information is stored.