Start-up tech company Cardiogram paired up with electrophysiologists at the University of California, San Francisco to try out the technology on patients awaiting cardioversion for atrial fibrillation. 51 patients at UCSF agreed to wear Apple Watches during their cardioversion procedures.
Heart rate samples were obtained before the procedure, when the patient was in atrial fibrillation, and again afterward when heart rhythm had been restored to normal. The researchers found that the Apple Watches were able to detect afib 97% of the time.
The Cardiogram and UCSF teams hope to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal while Cardiogram hopes it can make this information useful to consumers. One possibility would be to have the watch send a notification to the wearer that s/he appears to be in afib should contact her/his care provider immediately.
If you are interested in participating in this research, click here.