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Currently, millions of people with an irregular heartbeat are told to take expensive blood thinners, which prevent strokes, but also increase the risk of dangerous bleeding. A new study will investigate whether Apple Watches can be used as part of a strategy to minimize use of those medications when they’re not needed.

The seven-year study, expected to launch next spring, will compare strokes, bleeding, and health care cost outcomes between people who are given the standard course of blood thinners and an experimental group that will be directed to take medication only after an Apple Watch detects prolonged atrial fibrillation. 

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