The University Health Network (UHN) in Canada announced the launch of the latest Apple Watch health study that will look into how the device can help in the early detection of heart failure. In a report filed by Newswise, the UHN research seeks to study how the Apple wearable "can drive better clinical outcomes for heart failure patients."

The report also revealed that Dr. Heather Ross, a renowned Canadian cardiologist and Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research scientific chief, will lead the UHN Apple Watch heart study. The research will run for three months with Apple doing collaborative work with the scientists. In an official UHN blog post, researchers said the main objective of the study is to see "if remote monitoring with Apple Watch can help with early identification of worsening heart failure." Since the study will also be looking into the role of the Apple Watch Blood Oxygen sensor and its corresponding app, it means participants will use the Apple Watch Series 6.

According to 9to5Mac, an online news outlet, researchers will compare data gathered by the Apple Watch and those regularly collected from various physical examinations that patients typically go through. This would help researchers determine if Apple Watch health sensors and features, which include its mobility metrics and Blood Oxygen app, can help in the early detection of deteriorating heart failure.

Dr. Ross expressed optimism about the part that Apple Watch could play in giving patients accurate and precise data, which in turn can provide them with early warning signs of heart failure. "We think that biometric data derived from Apple Watch may provide comparable, precise, and accurate measurements of fitness, prognostic markers, and early warning signals, compared to traditional diagnostics," Dr. Ross said.

The study's lead also stated that combining new technology made available by the Apple Watch with biomedical science expertise, as well as leveraging the existing Peter Munk Digital Cardiovascular Health Program for 8,000 patients with cardiovascular problems, should provide them with an opportunity to gain better assessments of heart health. The Vice President of Health at Apple, Dr. Sumbul Desai, also expressed her gratitude and excitement at doing a collaborative research study with UHN to find out how Apple Watch can help patients with heart problems.

Apple Watch
The Amazfit GTS 2 is closer to the Apple Watch experience than any of its other siblings. Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li

She said that emerging insights on heart health played a major role in the development and evolution of the Apple Watch, adding that she and her colleagues at Apple are glad at the responses they hear from users on the impact that the device made on their lives. "We're thrilled to be collaborating with UHN and Dr. Heather Ross to better understand how the powerful sensors in Apple Watch can potentially help patients better manage heart failure, from the comfort of their own home," Dr. Desai said.