Experts have suggested that the early results of the new Apple Heart Study, which were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session at the weekend, could signal the beginning of a new era in medicine.
The study found that an Apple Watch algorithm was able to detect atrial fibrillation in a group of people who had been identified by the app as having an irregular heartbeat.
Responding to the study results, Professor Hein Heidbuchel, President of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) said the study represents "the beginning of a new era." He added: "In medicine, we’ve always been used to ordering tests. Here, the patient does a test and presents it to a physician. We have to find a way to positively integrate that into how we deal with patients and their information."
Professor Gerhard Hindricks, Editor-in-Chief of EP Europace and a Past-President of EHRA said the findings do raise a number of questions. "From an innovative technological point of view, this is a fantastic new approach. But are we ready for these technological innovations? Are the citizens ready? Is the healthcare system ready? I have my doubts about whether we are ready to implement this approach now."