"Initially, step counts were reported, but later thousands of heart rates per patient per week were logged using smart devices," said Joshua Pevnick, MD, co-director of the Division of Informatics and associate professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "Many of these heart rates proved to be abnormally low or high." Pevnick was principal investigator for the study.
As of July 3, 2019, 7,128 patients had synced their devices. The Apple Watch now typically reports one heart-rate reading every 10 minutes. As data uploads outpaced the resources to screen them, concern rose about the surge of unreviewed data and the abnormal heart rates within it.
In response, Pevnick and the team designed their study to learn more about heart-rate datasets and how and when to alert a patient's doctor about out-of-range readings while also ensuring patient privacy. Physician informaticists met monthly to review abnormally low and high heart rates uploaded to MyCS-Link.
Once patients with potentially concerning heart rates were identiﬁed, the scientists conferred with clinical informaticists, including cardiologist Yaron Elad, MD, assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, to discuss each case. In a narrower subset of cases in which scientists felt it was warranted, Elad contacted patients’ physicians to alert them of ﬁndings.