J&J, Apple to test whether latest Apple Watch can predict stroke risk

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Johnson & Johnson will launch a controlled, multiyear study later this year to see whether the Apple Watch Series 4 can accelerate the diagnosis of a leading cause of stroke, USA Today reports.

Five things to know:

1. Johnson & Johnson and Apple will open the study to U.S. adults ages 65 years and older to determine whether the Apple Watch, coupled with the pharmaceutical company's FDA-cleared EKG app, can detect atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.

2. If the watch detects AFib, it will prompt the wearer to seek a formal diagnosis from a healthcare provider.

3. The goal of the study is to "identify early on AFib and prevent stroke by combining the physical know-how from Apple and what we have from the medical and scientific know-how," said Paul Stoffels, MD, Johnson & Johnson's executive vice president and chief scientific officer.

Instead of tracking individuals, Johnson & Johnson places to aggregate data from study participants.

4. "We are receiving thank you letters daily from Apple Watch wearers who are discovering they have AFib," Apple COO Jeff Williams told USA Today. "We want a deeper understanding about outcomes and prevention associated with early detection. We are excited to work with Johnson & Johnson, which has a long history and expertise in cardiovascular disease.

5. Apple is conducting a similar study with the Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine that uses the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythms.

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