Apple joins forces with Ted Rogers Centre to advance remote monitoring through a wearable device

A historic collaboration between tech giant Apple and the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (University Health Network) could give patients even more control over their health, and usher in a new era of remote monitoring possibilities.

Yesterday, Apple Inc. held a product launch in Cupertino, California and the effects of that launch may change cardiac care in ways that only science fiction and screenwriters have imagined. To ensure these visions become a thoroughly tested and proven reality, Apple also announced it would support studies at a number of leading research institutions including the Ted Rogers Centre and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

There, in the first study, investigators will seek to understand the relationship between blood oxygen levels and heart failure. In addition, in a second study, investigators will explore how blood oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with the management of heart failure – one of the world’s most impactful and costliest diseases.

Led by Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Scientific Lead at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, these studies will be open by invitation to heart failure patients receiving care at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

“Congestive heart failure is one of the most serious heart conditions that can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for millions of persons around the world,” said Dr. Ross. “Understanding and learning how physiologic signals from wearables like the Apple Watch and iPhone can be utilized, may lead to innovative solutions for management of this disease and allow us to intervene early and prevent poor clinical outcomes.”

The studies will launch later this fall with privacy and transparency for participants as a priority. All user data will be encrypted, and participants have the ability to opt-out at any time.

Dr. Ross, a world-renown cardiologist, leads a team of clinician-scientists that are setting the standard of care and research for heart failure patients both in Canada, and around the world.

“Our team is always asking ourselves how we can meaningfully improve patient outcomes for what has become the most rapidly rising cardiovascular disease in Canada,” explains Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director and Chair of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. “We look forward to joining with the team at Apple to continue transforming the future of heart failure management.”

UHN is the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, and is uniquely positioned with both talent, and infrastructure, to lead this important research.

“The combination of Apple Inc., the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is a very exciting partnership, said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of University Health Network. “When I think of what may be possible for patients and clinicians, it underlines the importance of thinking in new ways about giving people the care they need where they would like to receive it – in their home. Apple is known for innovation around the world and it will be exciting to have our researchers and clinicians working with them on the devices of the future.”