Apple Features WeGuide on The Apple Newsroom: Using Apple Watch to Study Impacts of Cancer Treatment on Heart Rhythm
Apple is recognizing the cutting-edge work of health researchers worldwide who are using Apple Watch to study and track a broad range of medical conditions. Since the launch of Apple’s HealthKit, ResearcherKit, and CareKit, Apple has uncovered many groundbreaking, new research findings that helped innovate the digital healthcare industry.
Our platform, WeGuide, has been featured in the Apple Global Newsroom alongside Associate Professor Rachel C. of Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), highlighting one of our studies that enables outpatient monitoring using WeGuide’s mobile app and Apple’s HealthKit to determine the impacts of cancer treatment on heart rhythm.
The study aims to determine if toxicities in cancer treatment can lead to heart rhythm disturbances, such as prolonged QT syndrome. Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart-signaling disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats or arrhythmias that, if left unchecked, can pose a life-threatening risk, as some LQTS can cause sudden fainting and seizures. Children with this condition have an increased risk of premature death.
According to Dr. Conyers, children receiving cancer treatment are screened at least once weekly with a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor their susceptibility to LQTS. Nevertheless, even outpatients are still susceptible and would still need monitoring. Thus, the necessity for innovative ways to intervene and make outpatient monitoring possible.
In our study conducted by Dr. Conyers, outpatients were given an Apple Watch with a built-in ECG functionality to monitor their heart rhythm for disturbances. The ECG readings obtained from the device are then transmitted to the WeGuide system via the WeGuide iOS application, enabling clinicians and researchers to track the data, monitor it, and take necessary actions when needed.
This way, researchers can now collect ECG data remotely using Apple Watch and the WeGuide system, which allows for more convenient and efficient patient monitoring and data collection, as compared to a traditional 12-lead ECG that had to be administered by a registered health professional in a clinic. Today, ECG can be performed and monitored anywhere and anytime with a simple press of a button or tap on a screen.
To conclude, the groundbreaking study refuted the misconception that “cardiac toxicity is something that happens ten years after treatment,” concluding that “new cancer therapies (like specific inhibitors or immunotherapy) can cause arrhythmias within 48 hours of medication,” according to Dr. Conyers. By utilizing Apple Watch and the WeGuide platform, Dr. Conyers made outpatient monitoring possible, making it an accessible, innovative, and cost-effective solution instead of a complex 12-lead ECG.
There’s still much more to explore and innovate in healthcare research. Here at WeGuide, we’re dedicated to making our platform the best to aid more groundbreaking discoveries in digital healthcare. We believe that innovation and collaboration are key to revolutionizing the healthcare industry.