Johnson & Johnson and Apple Launching Virtual Study to Improve AFib Outcomes


Johnson & Johnson will benefit from the recent Apple and Stanford “App” study as they prepare to collaborate with Apple to assess the impact of wearable technology on earlier detection of AFib as well as the goal to improve diagnosis and patient outcomes. Up to 30% of Afib cases go undiagnosed until life-threatening complications occur, signaling a critical need for more efficient and scalable screening methods. There are 33 million people worldwide living with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that can lead to stroke and other potentially dangerous complications. In America, approximately 130,000 die each year from AFib; 75,000 are hospitalized annually.

The Apple and Johnson & Johnson study seeks to analyze the impact of the Apple Watch on the early detection and diagnosis of AFib and the potential to improve outcomes, including prevention of stroke. They are starting the multi-year research program presently. The goals include:

  • Measuring the outcomes of a heart health engagement program with irregular rhythm notifications on Apple Watch.
  • Assessing the impact of a medication adherence program using an app from Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson’s recent mSTOPs (mHealth Screening to Prevent Strokes) study demonstrated that earlier screening leads to increased AFib detection. “Utilizing wristwatch-based optical heart sensor and ECG monitoring is a logical evolution of this research and may also lead to increased AFib diagnosis and improved clinical outcomes for patients,” said Paul Burton, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Internal Medicine, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. “This collaboration brings together Johnson & Johnson’s depth of expertise and long heritage in treating cardiovascular disease with Apple’s experience in utilizing cutting-edge technologies to improve the lives of consumers. Ultimately, we hope to improve the treatment of cardiovascular disease, and identify ways to prevent it.”