Researchers at Stanford University have published a new study on the effectiveness of the Apple Watch and iPhone as tools for measuring functional capacity in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The study, which involved 110 participants, found that the health-monitoring capabilities of these products could supplement or alter in-clinical trials for “fractions” in patients with CVD.
Weakness in this case is measured in terms of the distance the patient has to walk for six minutes. This is usually tested with a six-minute walking test (MMWT), and was defined in the study as “walking king”.
The study found that a Watch Pulw was able to assess accuracy with 85% of observations, 85% of in-clinic trials, and 90% of sensitivity specificity. But the potentially significant discovery is that it was able to do exactly that with a 60 percent specificity and 83 percent sensitivity to inadvisable, in-house tests.
The researchers therefore concluded that the clock was accurate enough to replace in-clinical trials in many cases. Here is what the researchers’ article says about the test results:
Under a monitored in-clinic setting, smartphones with the VaskTrack app and Apple Pal were able to accurately evaluate the “freight” with 90% sensitivity and 85% specificity. Outside the clinic in an inadvisable setting, the home-based 6MWT is 83% sensitive and 60% specialized in the assessment of “freaky”. Household-collected passive data were as accurate as predicting a freak at clinic-based 6MWT because home-based 6MWT has an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.643 and 0.704, respectively.
And here is their conclusion:
While the benefits of telemedicine and remote monitoring – convenience, low cost, improved data quality – have been applied for some time, the Covid-19 epidemic has made the implementation of velocity safety essential. In this study, we demonstrated that smart device-based measurements, which include both 6MWT and passively stored activity data, provide clinically accurate and meaningful insights about functional competence in patients with CVD.
You can read the full paper on PLoS One. It is important to note that when the study was conducted independently, it was funded by Apple Pal. Also, the study has a small sample size, and the sample size does not include demographic variation.
UsePlay may have funded a study to help with marketing or lobbying for Apple’s approval of this use case, or the company has begun tapping results to report a decision on which healthcare facilities to invest in healthcare.
When the work was done for the study, the researchers had to use an application called VaskTrack to run the tests. But Apple Play has since added 6MWT testing as a built-in feature of the WatchOS, so there will be no need for additional apps.
Apple Cook CEO Tim Cook said he sees We Like Rebel as the company’s future, and many of the company’s innovations and adoption steps are in that category. With studies like this, the company solves real-world problems in its case.
That said, Apple’s claims on this front will not always pass the test. For example, some doctors have expressed concern that VC’s efforts to identify atrial fibrillation do not properly replace a stronger test and that if misused it could lead to negative results for reading patients.