Researchers hope the technology can assist in early detection of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common form of irregular heartbeat. Patients with untreated AF are five times more likely to have a stroke.
Results of the largest AF screening and detection study, involving more than 400 000 Apple Watch users, were presented at the recent American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.
Of the 400 000 participants, 0.5%, or about 2 000 subjects, received notifications of an irregular pulse. Those people were sent an ECG (electrocardiography) patch to wear for subsequent detection of AF episodes.
A third of those whose watches detected an irregular pulse were confirmed to have AF using the ECG technology, researchers said.