Heart Watch Study: Protocol for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial

Sanket S. Dhruva, Nilay D. Shah, Sreekanth Vemulapalli, Abhishek Deshmukh, Alexis L. Beatty, Ginger M. Gamble, James V. Freeman, James P. Hummel, Jonathan P. Piccini, Joseph G. Akar, Keondae Ervin, Kristine L. Arges, Lindsay Emanuel, Peter A. Noseworthy, Tiffany Hu, Victoria Bartlett, Joseph S. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Personal digital devices that provide health information, such as the Apple Watch, have developed an increasing array of cardiopulmonary tracking features which have received regulatory clearance and are directly marketed to consumers. Despite their widespread and increasing use, data about the impact of personal digital device use on patient-reported outcomes and healthcare utilisation are sparse. Among a population of patients with atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter undergoing cardioversion, our primary aim is to determine the impact of the heart rate measurement, irregular rhythm notification, and ECG features of the Apple Watch on quality of life and healthcare utilisation. Methods and analysis We are conducting a prospective, open-label multicentre pragmatic randomised clinical trial, leveraging a unique patient-centred health data sharing platform for enrolment and follow-up. A total of 150 patients undergoing cardioversion for atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter will be randomised 1:1 to receive the Apple Watch Series 6 or Withings Move at the time of cardioversion. The primary outcome is the difference in the Atrial Fibrillation Effect on QualiTy-of-life global score at 6 months postcardioversion. Secondary outcomes include inpatient and outpatient healthcare utilisation. Additional secondary outcomes include a comparison of the Apple Watch ECG and pulse oximeter features with gold-standard data obtained in routine clinical care settings. Ethics and dissemination The Institutional Review Boards at Yale University, Mayo Clinic, and Duke University Health System have approved the trial protocol. This trial will provide important data to policymakers, clinicians and patients about the impact of the heart rate, irregular rhythm notification, and ECG features of widely used personal digital devices on patient quality of life and healthcare utilisation. Findings will be disseminated to study participants, at professional society meetings and in peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere054550
JournalBMJ open
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 30 2021


  • adult cardiology
  • pacing & electrophysiology
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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