Apple Heart Study: Auspicious for manufacturers of portable heart monitors


A Stanford medical study that analyzed the utility of AppleThe intelligent detection of irregular heart rhythms by the (AAPL) bodes well for manufacturers of devices dedicated to cardiac monitoring, say analysts. The Apple Heart study is also good news for Apple's emerging health initiatives.


Stanford Medicine announced the results of the Apple Heart study Friday at the American College of Cardiology's conference in New Orleans.

The Apple Heart Study has recruited more than 400,000 participants from 50 US states in just eight months. The study showed that 0.5% of participants had received an irregular heartbeat notification.

The results showed how Apple Watch can provide users with important health information they can act on, Apple said. Many participants sought medical advice after receiving an alert about an irregular heartbeat, the company said.

The Apple Watch follows the wearer's heartbeat and alerts the person if an irregular heartbeat seems to suggest atrial fibrillation, also called AFib. As part of the study, if an irregular heartbeat was identified, participants received a notification on their Apple Watch and their iPhone, a telehealth consultation with a doctor and an electrocardiogram patch for further follow-up .

Apple Heart Study Could Benefit From iRhythm Technologies

The Apple Heart study could provide a lift for IRhythm Technologies (IRTC), announced Monday two companies on Wall Street. IRhythm manufactures cardiac monitoring products, such as the Zio chest patch.

The Apple Watch could lead some patients to get more sophisticated surveillance devices, said Jason Mills, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, in a report.

"The study augurs well for iRhythm, initially from the point of view that the consumer-generated awareness of AFib should bring additional patients to doctors' offices, forcing physicians to prescribe dedicated and continuous monitoring devices (eg , Zio) able to verify long-term data / charge AFib, "said Mills.

Mills reiterated its purchase note on iRhythm shares with a price target of 104. IRhythm shares rose 0.9% to 91.26 on the stock market today. 39; hui.

Also on Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis maintained his overweight rating and course goal of 101 on iRhythm.

The iRhythm device appears at the top of the rival's biometrics

The Apple Heart study provided evidence that Zio could outperform a competing product from biotelemetry (BEAT) called ePatch, said Mills. The Stanford Medicine study provided patients with ePatch devices after the Apple Watch detected an irregular heartbeat.

"These results highlight the value of the Zio extended continuous wear period (up to 14 days) compared to competing platforms (ePatch was used six months on average in the Apple study" ) to detect arrhythmias, the platforms only providing shorter periods of wear potentially missing. "AFIB's paroxysmal case," Mills said.

The expanding market for consumer apparel products, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, could expand the market for portable medical devices, he said.

Morgan Stanley's Lewis said that the Apple Heart study could provide a "modest catalyst" for iRhythm.

Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories about personal technology and semiconductor companies.


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