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The Apple Watch AI Can Detect Hypertension

14 November 2017

The research claims that data from wearable heart rate sensors, when combined with machine learning algorithms, can surface hidden patterns that predict whether a person is at risk for certain health problems.

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million adults in the US, with another 80 percent of cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Specialists shared the new study on November 14 during the meeting at the American Heart Association, in Anaheim.

According to Brandon Ballinger, Cardiogram co-founder, DeepHeart was trained on data gathered from 70 percent of total participants and then tested again on the remaining 30 percent data that were not used in the previous training.

Data collected from the Apple watches was interpreted by the deep neural network of DeepHeart, which recognized hypertension and sleep apnea.

Furthermore, Aetna partnered with Apple to lower the cost of Apple Watches so it can give them to its members at a reduced price. DeepHeart was 90 percent accurate when detecting sleep apnea and 82 percent accurate on detecting hypertension.

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It becomes hard to note down the spike in blood pressure, and determine if the patient is suffering from sleep apnea. Though it was originally developed for Apple Watch, Cardiogram can now be used with wearables including Fitbits, Apple Watches, Garmins, and Android Wear devices.

Both the startup company and the UCSF collaborated to reveal that the said smartwatch could predict hypertension and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea was detected in more than 1,016 participants, while hypertension was identified in 2,230 participants. Cardiogram promised that it's going to add a feature that could suggest the wearer check with his doctor for possible atrial fibrillation, sleep apnea or hypertension.

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

Since the app is able to track heart rates and can detect when the heart rate spikes during the normal REM sleep cycle, it can also detect when that cycle is abnormal. "The study is seeing a correlation and that's important to know, but the value is still unproven for medicine", she says. Cardiogram says it has more research underway, and expects accuracy to improve.

The Apple Watch AI Can Detect Hypertension