Apple Watch
Apple has recently partnered with Stanford and American Well for a project that involves the expansion of the Apple Watch’s health-centric feature. Reuters/Issei Kato

Apple has decided to partner with Stanford and American Well for its new project that involves its Apple Watch smartwatch. The Cupertino giant is apparently looking to expand the usefulness of its wearable into the field of medicine by determining if its Apple Watch’s sensors can detect arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.

On Monday, CNBC ran a story on how Apple partnered with a group of clinicians at Stanford and telemedicine vendor American Well for a new project. The ultimate goal of this project is to find out whether the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch is capable of detecting abnormal heart rhythms among patients. The publication cited sources who reportedly asked not to be named for the plan has yet to be disclosed publicly by the parties involved.

If it’s proven to be a capable screening tool, the Apple Watch could be used for high-risk patients who are in constant need of heart rate monitoring. This would also make the Apple Watch a desirable products to doctors and health care professionals, as pointed out by Apple Insider.

While arrhythmias are not always problematic, it is still a known risk to many people. For instance, there is this condition called atrial fibrillation that may not manifest external symptoms, but can actually increase the risk of blood clots, strokes and other serious problems. Having a device to check the rhythm of the heart will really be useful to people who may have this condition.

“Atrial fibrillation is a common rhythm disorder and knowing someone has it is medically useful because those people might need specific treatments,” Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco Chairman Bob Wachter said. It goes without saying that when the Apple Watch is able to determine presence of this condition, the device could potentially save lives.

American Well declined to comment if it has partnered with Apple. Interestingly, the company’s CEO Roy Schoenberg may have subtly confirmed this when he stated that they are working closely with wearable makers. It is therefore possible that American Well could really be working with Apple on this project. It could also be involved with a couple of other wearable manufacturers at the moment.

It is worth noting that the University of California, San Francisco and the team behind the Cardiogram app already conducted a study on the Apple Watch and found out that it is capable of detecting abnormal rhythms of the heart with 97 percent accuracy, as per MacRumors. When the study was published in May, cardiac electrophysiologist Greg Marcus, who was involved in the research, stated that Apple has the benefit of having real-time access to raw data from its Apple Watch’s heart sensor.

Although Apple does not comment on speculative reports regarding its plans, CEO Tim Cook may have validated the leaked project when he spoke with Fortune early this week. During the interview, Cook said that Apple is “extremely interested” in health. “We started working on the Apple Watch several years ago,” the CEO said. “[One of our goals] was performing some measurements of your health that people were not measuring, at least continually. Like your heart. Very few people wore heart monitors. We’re extremely interested in this area. And yes it is a business opportunity.”

For now, Apple is gearing up for the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3, which is rumored to be LTE-capable. The Cupertino giant has sent out invites for a Sept. 12 press event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino. It appears Tim Cook’s team will be unveiling the new smartwatch at the event alongside the three new iPhones, the fifth-generation Apple TV and the slightly upgraded AirPods.