The medical genetics company Invitae has developed a new clinical research platform for the Apple Watch. Dubbed ‘Invitae Discover’, the platform will analyze the biometric information gathered through the Apple Watch in an effort to gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of various diseases.
Invitae has partnered with the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions for the first study with the Invitae Discover platform, which will examine the effects of genetics on atrial fibrillation and “other cardiovascular conditions associated with abnormal heart rhythms.” According to Invitae, the Afib CAUSE Study will also bolster their ability to accurately interpret genetic test results.
“The Invitae Discover platform will make it easier to conduct studies that assess genetic test results alongside biometric data, thereby joining basic electrophysiological data with genetic information to advance our understanding of disease and improve clinical care,” said Invitae Chief Medical Officer Robert Nussbaum.
The Afib CAUSE Study is open to patients who have already gone through genetic testing with Invitae, though participants must be based in the U.S. and must be 18 years of age or older. Invitae will then combine the participants’ genetic information with health and activity metrics from Apple HealthKit to determine the impact of genetic variables whose significance is not yet fully understood.
Invitae is a medical company, and consequently must protect the privacy and security of all participants in accordance with HIPAA regulations. The study itself will be carried out under the supervision of an Institutional Review Board.
The Apple Watch first gained ECG capabilities back in 2018, when Apple introduced technology that allowed the Apple Watch Series 4 to detect abnormal heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation. The tech giant has since released the Apple Watch Series 5, which debuted in September and included a slew of new activity and health monitoring features.