By Don Reisinger
November 2, 2018

Last November, Apple and Stanford Medicine launched the Apple Heart Study in hopes of attracting participants to evaluate heart health with the Apple Watch. And it seems to have at least been successful at attracting participants.

In a blog post on Thursday, Stanford said that it enrolled more than 400,000 people in the Apple Heart Study between November of last year and August, when it closed it to new participants. Now, it’s evaluating data from those people and plans to release its findings next year.

The Apple Heart Study requires that all participants have an Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, or Series 3. Those participants then use an app on the wearable that seeks out signs of atrial fibrillation, or A-FIB, which can increase the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Along the way, Stanford is identifying those who have received A-FIB notifications on their Apple Watch and hoping to determine how many of them actually get medical attention after the notification is received. Stanford and Apple also want to determine how accurate those notifications are in discovering A-FIB.

“We hope this study will help us better understand how wearable technologies can inform precision health,” Stanford Medicine dean Lloyd Minor, MD said in a statement. “These new tools, which have the potential to predict, prevent and manage disease, are finally within our reach.”

Stanford’s ability to attract 400,000 participants highlights just how popular Apple Watch has become in the smartwatch market and specifically, how many people care about its health-tracking features. Most importantly, the Apple Watch’s popularity and widespread participation might give Stanford more useful data to work with.

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