Working with Silicon Valley leaders right in our own backyard allows us to jointly tackle some of the biggest challenges in health care. Together, we know that more data can lead to more discoveries that save lives. Stanford Medicine teamed up with Apple on a heart study that uses a mobile app, showcasing our commitment to making it easy for people to participate in medical research.
Apple Heart Study on Apple Watch
A watch that just tells time? Not if Stanford researchers and Apple have anything to say about it. Stanford Medicine is collaborating with Apple on an innovative study to accelerate cardiac science. It uses an app on the Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms, particularly those from serious heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation or aFib. With the Apple Heart Study app, launched November 2017, if an irregular heart rhythm occurs, participants receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, consultation with a study doctor through American Well’s telehealth platform, and an electrocardiograph patch for additional monitoring.
Atrial fibrillation causes 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations every year in the U.S. alone. It can lead to blood clots and is a primary cause of stroke, but it often goes undiagnosed because many don’t experience symptoms.
The study provides an opportunity to understand the frequency of atrial fibrillation and, perhaps more importantly, what to do when it happens. If effective, smartwatches could become integral tools that usher in a new era of proactive health—all central to our precision health approach.
Leveraging Google’s Analytic Power from Human Health to AI
Imagine scrutinizing spit, tears, heartbeats, and genomes to search for new predictors of disease. Project Baseline, a collaboration between Stanford Medicine, Google, Verily—Google’s life science spin-off—and Duke University is doing just that. A massive effort aimed at sifting through the health data of 10,000 volunteers over a multi-year study, Project Baseline will search for clues for predicting heart disease and cancer—mapping the many factors that influence human health. These efforts encourage investigators and participants from our community and beyond to get involved in precision health practices.
Initiatives like Project Baseline allow Stanford to leverage the analytic power of Google to extract relevant information from massive troves of health data.
Stanford and Google have also teamed up on a digital scribe pilot project that uses artificial intelligence-based speech recognition and machine learning to reduce the burden and stress of doctors having to complete electronic health records. Doctors record the patient sessions and then staff members use machine learning algorithms to detect patterns that automatically complete the progress notes. By studying the use of a digital scribe to replace a human scribe, we will find out if it saves the physician time on data entry and improves physician-patient interaction.