Apple, Johnson & Johnson Launch ‘Heartline’ Study

Apple is partnering with Johnson & Johnson to launch the Heartline study to determine if the accompanying app as well as Apple Watch can reduce the risk of a stroke.

Heartline Study

To enroll in the Heartline study you must be 65 or older, a resident in the U.S., have Original (traditional) Medicare, own an iPhone 6s or later, and agree to give access to your Medicare claims data. You can sign up at

Screenshots of heartline study app.

The study’s goal is to determine if the Heartline Study app, combined with the Apple Watch ECG function, can reduce the likelihood of a stroke and improve health outcomes with earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). Dr. C. Michael Gibson, Co-Chair of the Heartline Executive Committee and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and CEO, Baim Institute:

Heartline is a study that has the potential to fundamentally change our understanding of how digital health tools, like the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch, could lead to earlier detection of AFib, helping patients understand and directly engage in their heart health, prompting potentially life-saving conversations with their doctors, and improving health outcomes.

Atrial fibrillation is the leading cause of stroke and people don’t usually experience symptoms. Over 33 million people around the world and up to six million Americans live with AFib.

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One thought on “Apple, Johnson & Johnson Launch ‘Heartline’ Study

  • Andrew:

    This is an important step forward. Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the West, and is increasing worldwide in more affluent classes in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, in the same ‘diabetes belt’ identified by WHO. Atrial fibrillation, a condition in which multiple foci in the atrium over-ride the Sino Atrial (SA) node, which is the normal regulator of the heartbeat, causes the atrium to beat rapidly and irregularly, and ineffectively pump blood out of the atrium. This causes blood to pool in the atrium and forms clots that can then be pumped out and lodge in the arteries going to the brain, shutting off blood flow to that portion of the brain. This is a leading cause of stroke.

    The implications of such a study, conducted prospectively over time, indeed in real time, with participants at risk for stroke (persons over 65y, those with diabetes, etc) will provide more granular data than any we have to date, and if successful in diagnosing those with AFib, and importantly, reduce the incidence of stroke, this will further move the Apple Watch from the ‘nice gadget’ to a ‘must have’ category for persons at risk. More importantly, if it leads to a reduction in disability and mortality, it will extend the years of functional human life and reshape Apple’s global footprint.

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