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mSToPS study

Taking cardiology out of the clinic

We live our lives outside the clinic, but until recently, cardiological diagnostic testing such as electrocardiography took place primarily within the confines of a medical office or hospital. As a result, physicians and scientists had access to just a trickle of data, which painted an incomplete — or even inaccurate — picture. The Scripps Research Digital Trials Center has been a trailblazer for a new approach, using connected wearable sensors that allow for continuous monitoring during everyday activities.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a significant cause of illness and death, increasing the risk of stroke by 400%. It is also largely preventable, when treated promptly with proven therapies. Unfortunately, symptoms may appear sporadically, delaying a correct diagnosis and initiation of potentially lifesaving treatment.

Our mSToPS (mHealth Screening To Prevent Strokes) trial, launched in 2015, solved this problem by equipping participants with an AFib-detecting ECG-sensor patch that could be worn 24 hours a day up to 14 days. It was the first AFib study to be conducted entirely at home, without any need to visit a medical facility. After a year of follow-up, the research team determined that mSToPS participants were three times more likely to be accurately diagnosed with AFib, compared with those who had received usual care.

The knowledge we seek

  • How can connected, wearable digital sensors be integrated into cardiovascular health research?
  • What is the role of digital phenotyping in assessing individual differences?
  • How can artificial intelligence and machine learning help us improve predictions and diagnoses?
  • How can digital technologies be used to boost patient engagement in care?


Our research has been featured in major national and industry news outlets.

Partner with us

The Scripps Research Digital Clinical Trial Center is actively pursuing projects like mSToPs, where our scientists work together with participants to provide them with wearable technology that has the potential to change the lives of future generations.