In late 2017 Apple launched a First-of-its-Kind Heart Study app that works with the Apple Watch heart rate sensor. Apple partnered with Stanford Medicine to perform the research. The work that Apple is doing is so important that they filed and was granted a patent for the app. Apple was officially granted patent #10,460,834 for that app and system on Tuesday for facilitating health research through enhanced communication of health information between research participants and researchers.
Now we're learning that Apple has hired another prominent cardiologist to join their to notch health team, as revealed by CNBC's health reporter Christina Farr.
The report noted that Apple has brought on David Tsay. Patently Apple is adding a LinkedIn bio to show you that he was a professor of cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center for 3.5 years and an associate chief transformation officer at the New York Presbyterian Hospital for over a decade where he focused on implementing digital services. His bio also shows that he officially started his role in September.
Tsay is the second well-known cardiologist to join Apple, following Alexis Beatty, who previously worked at the University of Washington.
Heart health is a huge area of focus for Apple, both in its medical research and its hardware. The most recent Apple Watch smartwatches include features that track an irregular heart rate as well as potential abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm, via an electrocardiogram.
Hiring cardiologists signals a continued interest in monitoring heart health, as well as helping people eat better and shift to more healthy lifestyles. It also brought on Heather Patrick, a prominent behavioral scientist, in the past few months, according to LinkedIn.
Bringing on medical experts is also important as the company faces skepticism from the medical community about whether its health features like the electrocardiogram will do more harm than good. Adding more doctors to its ranks suggests that the company is thinking seriously about how to communicate with, as well as form alliances, within the medical sector.
Jeffrey Wessler, a New York-based cardiologist and the founder of the Heartbeat heart-health clinics told CNBC's reporter that "Cardiovascular disease has been such a huge and difficult problem to tackle. But we finally have consumer-grade tech catching up that offer a new set of solutions." For more on this story, read the full CNBC report.
In late September Patently Apple covered a report titled "Indian Doctors Hold High Praise for Apple's ECG Apple Watch Feature."
In that report we noted that India's medical fraternity had stated that while the Apple Watch will not provide a final conclusion into whether a person is actually suffering from Atrial fibrillation (AFib), it can warn a patient to see their doctor about an irregularity picked up by Apple Watch. An irregular heartbeat can lead to a blood clot formation in the heart which then embolizes to the brain causing stroke — the readings will make more Indians consult their physicians about their heart health.
Aparna Jaswal, Associate Director, Cardiology & Electrophysiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi stated for the report that "Technology is moving at lightning speed and Apple is surely abreast with it. Rhythm identification via the phone is no longer a dream. Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease."