More than 419,000 Apple Watch users signed up for the study.
People who received an alert were supposed to consult a study doctor via telemedicine and then wear an EKG patch measuring cardiac activity for the next week to determine the watch's accuracy. Overall, about 57% sought medical attention.
Over 400,000 people participated in the Apple Heart Study, which used the Apple Watch to collect irregular heart rhythm data from participants for eight months. Eighty-four percent of the time, participants who received irregular pulse notifications were found to be in atrial fibrillation at the time of the notification.
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"I would not advise this to the overall general population", said Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart in NY and a former American Heart Association president, who wasn't involved with the study.
A-fib occurs when the heart's top chambers, called the atria, get out of sync with the bottom chambers' pumping action.
Sometimes the heart gets back into rhythm on its own.
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AFib, which is an irregular heartbeat, can lead to strokes, blood clots, heart failure and other serious issues. In the U.S., it causes 750,000 hospitalisations a year and contributes to 130,000 deaths, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
A-fib is most common in older adults, and other risks include high blood pressure or a family history of arrhythmias.
Apple now positions the Apple Watch as a health accessory, and one that has already saved real lives. As part of the study, if an irregular heart rhythm was identified, participants received a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a telehealth consultation with a doctor and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring. The Apple Heart Study app intermittently checked the heart-rate pulse sensor for measurements of an irregular pulse. Saturday's study didn't include watches with that capability.
The study could help pave the way for more research into how modern digital tools can help improve health.
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The watch flagged only a small group of people - about 2,100 - for a possible problem.