Welcome to Digital Health Briefing, a new morning email providing the latest news, data, and insight on how digital technology is disrupting the healthcare ecosystem, produced by BI Intelligence. Sign up and receive Digital Health Briefing free to your inbox. Have feedback? We'd like to hear from you. Write me at:  lbeaver@businessinsider.com APPLE, STANFORD MEDICINE LAUNCH APPLE WATCH AFIB STUDY: Apple launched the Apple Heart Study app last Thursday to monitor users’ heart rhythms using the Apple Watch heart rate sensor and alert users who are experiencing Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). The company has partnered with Stanford Medicine to carry out research related to the program. AFib, costs the US around $6 billion annually, and is responsible for about 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year, the CDC reports.  Participants who receive a notification of a heart irregularity get a free virtual consultation with a physician from telehealth company American Well, which also partnered with Apple and Stanford Medicine for the program. As part of the program, participants receive an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch that allows for further, more accurate heart monitoring. Stanford Medicine hopes the study will demonstrate how health tracking wearables could usher in more proactive user health monitoring. This could help reduce hospitalizations of patients due to preventable illnesses. While the Apple Watch isn’t accurate enough to diagnose heart conditions — it detects heart irregularities with 97% accuracy — it’s a valuable screening tool for heart arrhythmias like AFib, which can go undiagnosed since people often do not experience outward symptoms. For Apple, the study could help to solidify its narrative that the Apple Watch is “the ultimate device for a healthy lifestyle.” Apple repositioned the Watch as a health and fitness tracking device in mid-2016 after initial sales began to dwindle. Since then, the company has reportedly explored more in-depth ways of making the Apple Watch an indispensable device. Aside from heart rate tracking, the company is also allegedly working on developing a glucose tracker for diabetics and has partnered