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Will a New J&J and Apple Collaboration Lead to Better AFib Outcomes?

The collaboration will use the Apple Watch to measure the outcomes of J&J’s heart health engagement program.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals is teaming up with Apple for a research study to look at how to help improve atrial fibrillation (AFib) outcomes, including stroke prevention, through the use of wearables. The partnership will use an app developed by J&J along with the Cupertino, CA-based company’s Apple Watch.

Recall in September of 2018, Apple received FDA clearance for an ECG app and another software-only mobile medical app analyzing pulse rates for irregular rhythms.

Both companies said the multi-year research program will be launched later in 2019. This large-scale program will occur in the U.S. only, and will be designed as a pragmatic randomized controlled research study for individuals age 65 years or older.

Goals of the study include; measuring the outcomes of a heart health engagement program with irregular rhythm notifications on Apple Watch; and assessing the impact of a medication adherence program using an app from Johnson & Johnson.

The companies said AFib is a serious issue because up to 30% of those cases go undiagnosed until life-threatening complications occur, signaling a critical need for more efficient and scalable screening methods

“Through Apple Watch people have been able to learn more about their heart health, including discovering they have AFib. This kind of information empowers customers to follow up with the right treatment or even better, implement healthy habits aimed at prevention,” said Jeff Williams, COO, Apple, in a release. "We're excited to work with Johnson & Johnson, a leader in the medical community, as we learn about the impact Apple Watch can have in delivering better health outcomes.”

New Brunswick, NJ -based Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only medtech company to collaborate with Apple. Zimmer Biomet formed a partnership with Apple to use the Apple Watch and iPhone to change the patient journey for two of the most common surgeries people in the U.S. undergo each year – knee and hip replacement.

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