Researchers are launching a major study that will marshal the power of smartphones and other personal technologies in an effort to develop new strategies for preventing and managing heart disease.
The project, called the Health eHeart Study, will use tools such as smartphone apps, sensors and other devices to gather data on a wide variety of measures associated with cardiovascular health—including blood pressure, physical activity, diet and sleep habits—all in real time.
The study aims to enroll up to one million participants. Researchers will sift through the huge, accumulating banks of data, looking for patterns that might give advance warning of a heart attack or predict the onset of a dangerous irregular heart beat.
The initiative amounts to "a large-scale digital version of the Framingham Heart Study," said Jeffrey Olgin, chief of cardiology at University of California, San Francisco and co-principal investigator of the effort. The continuing 65-year-old Framingham study is one of the most influential research endeavors in medical history.