Friday, 17 November, 2017

Apple Watch Can Detect Hypertension And Sleep Apnea

Wearables can use AI to detect conditions The Apple Watch can accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea, a new study suggests
Melba Vasquez | 14 November, 2017, 23:06

It comes with a Global Positioning System, cellular connectivity, and heart rate sensor, among others. "So there is this major undiagnosed problem". A study independent of Apple presented in May has already suggested the answer is yes. And remember that the accuracy of heart data of Apple Watch would depend on how you wear it.

A new study out from health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) suggests wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit and others are able to accurately detect common but serious conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea.

Typically, doctors can't diagnose hypertension and sleep apnea by merely looking at the data from your smartwatch.

This study recruited participants for a Health eHeart study and trained the DeepHeart neural network to detect new variables with heart rate. In May, the company and UCSF released results showing that DeepHeart could figure out how to predict atrial fibrillation from a person's Apple Watch data. They diagnose hypertension by putting that familiar cuff on your arm.

"Checking for sleep apnea is not part of your routine doctors visit", said Ballinger.

Thus, we wonder how the algorithm of Cardiogram could make a good guess without having to use an equipment. We only sort of know. The heart-rate sensors built in most of the wearable devices can instantly track blood pressure. Sleep apnea was detected in more than 1,016 participants, while hypertension was identified in 2,230 participants. The PhysioNet 2000 challenge showed that algorithms based on beat-to-beat heart rate variability could correctly classify 35 recordings of sleep apnea. "They're kind of a foreign form of intelligence", says Ballinger.

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

Furthermore, the watch is also able to guide people to a suitable final diagnosis.

That plan is plausible, but needs to be proved out.

The app tracked heart rate and step count in the subjects between one week and a year.

Cardiogram researchers said the app's neural network was fed with data on 70 percent of the volunteers.

Cardiogram and UCSF's research on heart is the third significant study published about deep learning in medicine.

That's big for a medical study-and perhaps a reflection of people's readiness for wearables like the Apple Watch to act as medical advisers. "Patients would much rather self-manage than deal with you, the physician", says Saxon. If Cardiogram and Saxon are right, medical-grade notifications may soon nestle among those for our Snaps, likes, and texts.

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