Apple is reportedly collaborating with Boston-based telemedicine vendor American Well and a group of clinicians at Stanford (Calif.) University to test whether its smartwatch's heart rate sensor can be used to detect heart rhythm abnormalities, according to CNBC.
While arrhythmias are not always problematic, it is still a known risk to many people.
American Well declined to comment on its involvement with Apple. If a problem is detected, he said, "the best route forward is to put a health care professional out in front".
Companies like American Well already provide apps for the iPhone so that anyone with an Internet connection can reach a doctor in a matter of minutes. When the study was published in May, cardiac electrophysiologist Greg Marcus, who was involved in the research, stated that Apple has the benefit of having real-time access to raw data from its Apple Watch's heart sensor.
The clinical study is slated to kick off later this year, one of the people said.
The Apple Watch could soon detect abnormal heart rhythms
Even before the Apple Watch was officially launched, the rumors about the watch was that Apple was going to position it to be a health device, which we guess it kind of is thanks to features like its optical heart rate sensor that can be used to measure the wearer's heart rate, which will come in handy during exercise.
Cook also confirmed that Apple is "extremely interested" in healthcare, which he sees as a "business opportunity" for the company.
Cook went on to describe the medical health activity market as the "largest or second largest component" of the economy.
Apple has chose to partner with Stanford and American Well for its new project that involves its Apple Watch smartwatch. Apple also declined CNBC's request for comment and Stanford did not return CNBC's request for comment.
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