Can the latest Apple Watch predict stroke risk?

Recently, I came across a very well-written USA Today article titled “Johnson & Johnson teams with Apple study to help reduce the risk of stokes.” I wanted to take a moment to share this article with you all as Mr. Edward C. Baig’s piece brilliantly discusses that Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) have teamed up to see if the Apple Watch, along with a Johnson & Johnson app, can help accelerate the diagnosis of Atrial fibrillation (AFib), a leading cause of stroke.

According to Johnson & Johnson, Atrial fibrillation causes about 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations each. Up to 30 percent of cases go undiagnosed until life-threatening complications occur. Worldwide, about 33 million people have the condition.

The article depicts that there will be a controlled, randomized multi-year Johnson & Johnson study starting this year for adults over 65 that wear the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 4 has an irregular heart rhythm notification feature, an FDA-cleared ECG app which are designed to detect AFib. It is good to see Apple’s interest in healthcare as well as Johnson & Johnson continued dedication to AFib. From the article, you can see that the phone and app diagnostic technology isn’t perfect, but it does have good detection of AFib, but it states that there needs to a formal diagnosis from their medical provider.

BioSig is pleased to see more and more attention being paid to this life-threatening problem. As a reminder, BioSig’s PURE EP™ System, which received FDA 510(k) clearance in August 2018, will aim to provide doctors with better, more powerful tools needed to treat AFib. The device is a non-invasive signal acquisition and processing system designed to assist electrophysiologists in making clinical decisions in real-time to help identify areas of tissue that create a heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). PURE EP™ is designed to support catheter ablation cases, working in parallel with existing recording and mapping systems.
We believe that this recent news will only help drive the growth of our industry. Most people know what stroke is, but not many are aware that AFib is a leading cause of strokes. Studies such this help shed light on the problem. If the Apple Watch + the J&J app lead to a preliminary diagnosis which then leads a person into a doctor’s office to get checked out, that is a win in our book.

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