According to Venture Beat, the study is focusing on the latest version of the Apple Watch and whether it can detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is a leading cause of strokes. Apple included occasional background checks for AFib to Series 1 through 3 models last year, but the Series 4 could potentially provide better and faster warnings.
“The goal is to identify early-on AFib and prevent stroke by combining the physical know-how from Apple and what we have from the medical and scientific know-how,” said Johnson & Johnson chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels.
“We are receiving thank you letters daily from Apple Watch wearers who are discovering they have AFib,” added Apple COO Jeff Williams. “We want a deeper understanding about outcomes and prevention associated with early detection. We are excited to work with Johnson & Johnson, which has a long history and expertise in cardiovascular disease.”
Just this week it was revealed that Apple has reportedly been in discussions with private Medicare plans to help consumers over the age of 65 to use the Apple Watch as a health tracker by subsidizing the watches.
According to experts, the age group makes sense for the Apple Watch. A2 Strategy Group Health Insurance Consultant Augustin Ruta said that “it’s the segment of health insurance with the highest dollar revenue and margin per member.” Right now there are around 19 million seniors enrolled in private Medicare Advantage plans – and that figure is said to be on the rise.
Participants in the Apple Watch stroke prevention study must be at least 65 years old to participate. The study is set to start later this year and run for multiple years, with participants testing a Johnson & Johnson-developed app on the Apple Watch Series 4.