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Study Suggests Apple Watch Can Accurately Detect Hypertension and Sleep Apnea

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According to a new study published today by the University of California San Francisco, the Apple Watch may be able to accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea.

The study was conducted in partnership with Cardiogram, a company that developed an app that breaks down heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch. The discovery potentially opens up the ability for the device to be used as a long-term research tool for these conditions.

The University of California surveyed a total of 6115 participants with an Apple Watch that used the Cardiogram app. Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Bollinger said that a neural network called “DeepHeart” was used to sift through the data for 70 percent of the study participants to diagnose the remaining 30 percent.

In a interview, Cardiogram co-founder and study lead Johnson Hsieh told TechCrunch:

“The idea here is that by screening continuously you would identify people with hypertension who might not know they have it. Thenm you’d guide them through the appropriate final diagnosis, which would be through a blood pressure cuff and then treatment.”

Sleep apnea was detected with a 90 percent accuracy. Hypertension was diagnosed with an 82 percent accuracy.

Cardiogram says that peer-reviewed clinical research will be necessary to further determine whether wearables are able to screen for major health conditions like sleep apnea and hypertension, but the research results will be translated into future Cardiogram features.

Cardiogram previously used the same neural network and Apple Watch data to determine that the Apple Watch is able to detect abnormal heart rate rhythms with 97 percent accuracy.

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  • johnnygoodface

    Impressive!

  • Bleep Bloop

    Those accuracy numbers are really darn impressive. I feel giddy and probably lame for saying this, but I think this technology is so exciting!

  • FragilityG4

    Only one problem… when do you charge it? ?

  • It’s Me

    That was my thought too. I guess you’d have to squeeze in a bunch of short charges during the day. While you’re in the shower, at your desk, maybe when watching TV. Not super convenient but probably workable.

  • FragilityG4

    It’s going to make closing those rings a little tricky!

  • It’s Me

    Shouldn’t be too bad with quick little micro charges, as long as you remember to put it on before getting up.

    I always have tons of battery left at night. I flew too and from Japan recently and still had a fair bit of juice at the end of what felt like 24 hour travel times. I imagine that if you wore it at night, popped it on the charger for 1/2 hour in the morning and maybe once again sometime during the day, that might be enough.

    Worth experimenting anyway, though you do risk those rings while working it out.

  • bbousquet

    Wearing it overnight is not very taxing on the battery. I tried it the other night and it was at 92% after 6-7 hours in bed. That can be recovered while I’m in the shower.

    [Mind you, wearing something on my wrist overnight is annoying to me – I was just curious on the battery drain involved]

  • My 1/2 cents

    Hmm. Peer reviewed data. And is the Best “Deep Heart” method an accepted diagnosis tool by the Cardiologist and Sleep Apnea institute?

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