Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

The Apple Watch Can Accurately Detect Hypertension And Sleep Apnea

The Apple Watch Can Accurately Detect Hypertension And Sleep Apnea

Research studies by healthcare startup, Cardiogram, and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) suggest that wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, and others can detect serious issues such as hypertension and sleep apnea.

"What if we could transform wearables people already own - Apple Watches, Android Wears, Garmins, and Fitbits - into cheap, everyday screening tools using artificial intelligence?" wrote Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Ballinger in a Medium post. The findings prompted Apple to join forces with a Stanford team for their own research on the matter. apple is confident the Apple Watch can detect other common heart conditions. Similarly the result for hypertension in the subjects was detected with an accuracy of 82 percent, according to TechCrunch.

It was able to detect sleep apnea in 1,016 of the participants and hypertension in 2,230 of the testers.

Earlier this year, another study conducted by UCSF and Cardiogram successfully detected abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) in Apple Watch wearers. Meanwhile according to the American Sleep Apnea Association 80% of USA adults are considered to have moderate and severe cases of undiagnosed sleep apnea. This time around, the study focusses on sleep apnea and hypertension... Sleep apnea can prove to be deadly when a person may stop breathing while sleeping leading to death.

In the study, 6,115 participants used the Cardiogram app and their Apple Watch to monitor their vital stats.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 75 million U.S. adults suffer from hypertension. Based on neural network DeepHeart, the company's Cardiogram, managed to detect the carriers of "smart" hours health problems. DeepHeart was trained on data from 70 percent of participants and tested on the 30 percent of participants that weren't the same participants used to collect the data. The heart-rate sensors built in most of the wearable devices can instantly track blood pressure.

At first glance, the association between heart rate, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea may seem surprising.

"The idea here is that by screening continuously you would identify people with hypertension who might not know they have it", said Johnson Hsieh, Co-Founder of Cardiogram.

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