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Stanford Launches Smartphone App to Study Heart Health

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The home screen of the MyHeart Counts app.

The new MyHeart Counts app allows researchers in the Stanford University School of Medicine to collect data about users' physical activity and cardiac risk factors.

Credit: Stanford University

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have unveiled a new iPhone app called MyHeart Counts, which enables them to collect data about users' physical activity and cardiac risk factors.

The app leverages the iPhone's built-in motion sensors to track participants' physical activity and collect data during six-minute walk tests. Participants who have a wearable activity device are encouraged to use that in conjunction with the app. Activity data from Apple Watch will feed directly into the Health app on the iPhone when it becomes available. Participants also will enter data about their risk factors for heart disease and their readings from basic lab tests.

The MyHeart Counts app is based on Apple's new ResearchKit framework, and is designed to make it easy for study subjects to complete tasks and answer surveys. Every three months during the course of a year or longer, participants will report one week's worth of activity and update their risk-factor information.

"At Stanford, with our long history of big data expertise, we are committed to harnessing the vast amounts of data that modern devices such as the iPhone can provide to lend insight into heart health on a scale never before seen," says project leader Euan Ashley.

From Stanford Medicine News Center
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