The project gathers data one heartbeat at a time.
Apple Watch can let you pay for things, send text messages and check the weather, all with a flick of the wrist. But now it can also save your life.
Apple launched the Apple Heart Study on November 30, in partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine. The app collects data on participants heart rhythms using the Apple watch on their wrist. The app will send users a notification if they might experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat that could lead to other complications.
Here's how the heart tracking works. A sensor in the Apple watch uses flashing LED lights as well as light sensitive diodes to monitor the amount of blood pumping through the veins in a wrist.
If the study does discover a participant has an irregular heartbeat, Apple will provide that participant a consultation with a doctor from the study and an electrocardiogram patch to monitor their heartbeat more closely.
Apple and Stanford also plan to aggregate the data to study it at a larger scale as well as ascertain the Apple Watch's effectiveness as a health care device.
The study was first announced in September during Apple's iPhone event, where they announced their new products.
"We've been looking at this for a couple of years, and we think Apple Watch can help," said Apple COO Jeff Williams of the study.
If you're interested in participating in the study, you can download the Apple Heart Study app from the app store if you're 22 or older and have an Apple Watch.