Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has entered into a partnership with Apple to open enrollment for a Heartline study intended to obtain information on heart health among individuals aged 65 and older.

The main objective of the study is to discover whether the iPhone and Apple watch can help in earlier diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFib).

AFib is an irregular heart rhythm that causes nearly 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalisations annually in the US.

For the study, seniors aged 65 or above would be eligible to participate in clinical research through the Heartline Study app on iPhones.

The patients must also have an iPhone 6S or later model, should be a US resident, have traditional medicare and agree to provide access to Medicare data.

Janssen Scientific Affairs internal medicine vice president for medical affairs Paul Burton said: “As we look to tackle some of the greatest health care challenges, we must bring the best minds and capabilities to the table.

“Through this important collaboration with Apple, we are pioneering new models that we hope can break down some of the most common barriers to participation in clinical studies.

“Our work continues to develop and deliver solutions for those impacted by AFib in the areas of detection, treatment and care, through novel approaches, so that we can potentially improve their lives today and well into the future.”

The study will run for three years, with two years of active engagement. Those who participate will receive heart health education, wellness tips, surveys and questionnaires across multiple topics related to overall heart health in the app each week.

After the two years are complete, there will be one year of additional data collection.