- The study, organized by Apple and Johnson & Johnson, aims to find out whether Apple Watches can reduce the risk of stroke and detect atrial fibrillation early.
- It's one of the largest randomized digital health studies ever. Open enrollment began Tuesday.
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Apple is teaming up with Johnson & Johnson and Best Buy to recruit volunteers for a new randomized digital health study.
The three giants of tech, pharma, and retail are partnering for Heartline , a study that will aim to determine whether Apple Watches are capable of detecting irregular heart rhythm early, reducing the likelihood of a stroke. Heartline will last three years, and will be one of the largest digital health studies ever, according to CNBC .
Prior research has already indicated that Apple Watches are capable of spotting irregular heartbeats early. A study published in November suggested that Apple Watches are good at detecting atrial fibrillation, but most of its participants did not complete the study.
With the new study, Apple is aiming to cement its reputation as a maker of effective health tech CEO Tim Cook said last year that he believes Apple's "greatest contribution to mankind" will be in healthcare.
"Apple technology is making a meaningful impact on scientific research through the powerful capabilities of iPhone and Apple Watch, all with privacy at the center of the participant experience," Apple's Head of Health Strategic Initiatives Myoung Cha said in a statement.
The Heartline study will aim to recruit 150,000 people anyone who is over the age of 65, is covered by Medicare, and has an iPhone 6 or newer is eligible.
People selected from the study will be sorted into two groups: half will be instructed to use the new Heartline app with health tips, while the rest will both use the app and use an Apple Watch with the capacity to detect heartbeat irregularities. Those selected to use an Apple Watch will be eligible to buy one for $49 plus tax at Best Buy, a steep discount from the Apple Watch Series 5's $399 price tag.
Open enrollment for the study began Tuesday, and can be found on Heartline's website .
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