Smartwatch Performance for the Detection and Quantification of Atrial Fibrillation

Jeremiah Wasserlauf, Cindy You, Ruchi Patel, Alexander Valys, David Albert, Rod Passman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) burden and duration appear to be related to stroke risk. A wearable consumer electronic device could provide long-term assessment of these measures inexpensively and noninvasively. This study compares the accuracy of an AF-sensing watch (AFSW; Apple Watch with KardiaBand) with simultaneous recordings from an insertable cardiac monitor (ICM; Reveal LINQ). Methods: SmartRhythm 2.0, a convolutional neural network, was trained on anonymized data of heart rate, activity level, and ECGs from 7500 AliveCor users. The network was validated on data collected in 24 patients with ICMs and a history of paroxysmal AF who simultaneously wore the AFSW with SmartRhythm 0.1 software. The primary outcome was sensitivity of the AFSW for AF episodes ≥1 hour. Secondary end points included sensitivity of the AFSW for detection of AF by subject and sensitivity for total AF duration across all subjects. Subjects with >50% false-positive AF episodes on ICM were excluded. Results: We analyzed 31 348.9 hours (mean (SD), 11.3 (4.4) hours/day) of simultaneous AFSW and ICM recordings in 24 patients. The ICM detected 82 episodes of AF ≥1 hour while the AFSW was worn, with a total duration of 1127.1 hours. Of these, the SmartRhythm 2.0 neural network detected 80 episodes (episode sensitivity, 97.5%) with a total duration of 1101.1 hours (duration sensitivity, 97.7%). Three of the 18 subjects with AF ≥1 hour had AF only when the watch was not being worn (patient sensitivity, 83.3%; or 100% during time worn). Positive predictive value for AF episodes was 39.9%. Conclusions: An AFSW is highly sensitive for detection of AF and assessment of AF duration in an ambulatory population when compared with an ICM. Such devices may represent an inexpensive, noninvasive approach to long-term AF surveillance and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere006834
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • atrial fibrillation
  • electrophysiology
  • heart rate
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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