Toronto’s UHN launches a study to see if Apple Watch can spot worsening heart failure – ClearTips

Toronto’s UHN launches a study to see if Apple Watch can spot worsening heart failure – TechCrunch

A new study The University of Toronto Health Network (UHN) has a group of research hospitals running in the city that may change our approach to treatment in an area of ​​growing concern in human health. Dr. The study, led by Heather Ross, will examine whether the Apple Watch can provide early warnings about potential deteriorating health for patients following heart failure events.

The study, which eventually aims to spread to about 200 patients, and which has already enrolled multiple participants from age 25 to 90, and Apple Watch Series 6 to monitor the signs, including heart rate, of different demographics And will use its onboard sensor. , Blood oxygen, normal activity level, overall performance during a six-minute walk test and more. Researchers led by Ross compared this data to more formal clinical trials conducted by clinicians to monitor the recovery of heart failure patients during routine, regular, timely check-ups Will do with measurements.

The hope is that Ross and his team will be able to identify correlations between the signs they are seeing from Apple Watch data, and the information gathered from proven therapeutic diagnostic and monitoring tools. If they can verify that the Apple Watch accurately reflects what is happening to the heart failure patient’s health, it has tremendous potential for treatment and care.

Ross told me in an interview, “In the US, there are about six and a half million adults with heart failure.” “At age 40, one in five people in North America will develop heart failure. And average life expectancy [following heart failure] Still on tremendous impact on quality of life, measured in about 2.1 years. “

Heart failure is in the form of a “growing epidemic”, Ross says, at a cost of “currently $ 30 billion per year in the US” for the health care system. A significant portion of that cost can come from the necessary care when conditions deteriorate for preventable reasons – which can be avoided by changes in the patient’s behavior, if only implemented at the right time. Ross told me that at present, the paradigm of care for heat failure patients is “episodic” – meaning it occurs at intervals of three or six months, when patients visit a physician’s office or clinic, which Do a jealousy of tests using the necessary equipment. Like a nurse practitioner, monitoring should be done by a trained professional.

“If you think about the paradigm to a certain degree, we’ve moved it backwards,” Ross said. “So in our thinking, the idea is really how we monitor patients’ continuous style in a relatively unobtrusive way that will allow us to detect changes in the patient’s condition before actually coming to the hospital. So this is where the opportunity with Apple is tremendous.

Ross said current estimates suggest that about 50% of hospitalized patients can be completely avoided through steps including improved self-care, such as following a prescribed medicinal diet, accurate symptom monitoring, Dietary intake monitoring and more. Apple’s vice president of health, Dr. Sumbul Desai echoed the feeling that activism is the key element to better standards and better long-term results.

“In a very health, medical world, the focus is on reactive responses to conditions,” she said in an interview. “The idea of ​​being a little more active than the way we think about our health is really empowering and we are really excited about where we should be headed. We think it is important to really start grounding us in science with these studies, but, in fact, the potential for this is something we want to deal with. “

Desai has led Apple’s health initiative for just under four years, and spent most of her career working on both the academic and clinical side before Stanford (where she remains an associate professor). She knows first-hand the value of continuing care, and said the study is representative of the potential that the company sees in the Apple Watch’s role in the daily health of individuals.

“They said that the ability to snapshot a person as they are living their everyday lives is very useful,” she said. “As a physician, part of your conversation is’ tell me what’s going on when you’re not in the clinic.” To be able to have some of that data at your fingertips and that part of your conversation really enhances your engagement with your patients. We believe that insights can be provided in ways that have not been done before and we are really excited to see what else we are learning in this specific area, but we are already seeing both users and practitioners Hearing from how valuable it is. “

Ross and Desai both highlighted the value of the Apple Watch as a consumer-friendly tool that is easy to install and learn, and that serves a variety of purposes beyond health and fitness, its potential in a continuing care paradigm As a major component of.

“We really believe that people should be able to play a more active role in managing their wellbeing and Apple Watch, in particular, we find – and are really proud of – a powerful health and wellness tool because that’s what Tools that you Desai said can connect with loved ones and also support the safety of messages, motivate you to stay healthy to stay more up-to-speed and provide important information on your overall well-being.

“It’s a powerful health care tool that’s been tied into a device that people just love for all the reasons that Sumbul has said,” Ross said. “But it is also a powerful diagnostic tool. So this is the consumer platform that I think would make this a potentially invincible tool, if we can properly evaluate it, which we are doing in this partnership. “

The study, which is targeting 200 participants, and enrolling more every day, will undergo active monitoring for three months, followed by two years to examine data collected relative to patient outcomes. All data collected is stored in fully encrypted form (Ross has pointed to Apple’s privacy track record as another benefit of being a partner) and anyone can participate, One can opt-out at any point during research.

Even once the results are out, it will be the first step in a larger process of verification, but Ross said that ultimately “we hope to improve access and equal care,” changing the fundamental approach we How to think heart failure and treatment.

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