Our smartwatch could detect hypertension and sleep apnea, a new study reveals

It comes with a Global Positioning System, cellular connectivity, and heart rate sensor, among others.

Cardiogram's engineers took the kind of artificial neural networks that Google and others use to turn our speech into text and adapted them to interpret heart-rate and step count data. About 6 thousand volunteers have worn the clock Apple watch. To stay on the right side of the FDA, the app would have to advise a person to get tested, and not suggest the person has a particular condition.

Furthermore, Aetna partnered with Apple to lower the cost of Apple Watches so it can give them to its members at a reduced price.

Last May, Cardiogram and UCSF demonstrated the ability of Apple Watch to detect irregularities in rhythmic function of the heart with an impressive 97 percent accuracy.

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. The research institution provided data from those who used the device and enrolled in the study. Cardiogram says it has more research underway, and expects accuracy to improve. (Like speech, they are signals that vary over time.) The system, dubbed DeepHeart, is given strings of heart-rate and step data from multiple people, and information about their health conditions.

At the University of California the Apple watch exactly 82% of the identified problems of the human heart and 90% of violations of pulmonary ventilation. Instead, they use a sphygmomanometer to determine your blood pressure.

Thus, we wonder how the algorithm of Cardiogram could make a good guess without having to use an equipment. Of those people who agreed to take part, sleep apnea was detected in 1,016 people and hypertension in 2,230.

However, more research is necessary to recommend smartwatch as a tool to predict hypertension and sleep apnea. "The difficulty with this is, if you have sleep apnea you are likely to develop heart disease and develop abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation".

More than one billion people globally suffer from hypertension, with 20 percent of these left undiagnosed, the World Health Organization claims.

The value of the said study hasn't been proven yet for medicine. Specialists shared the new study on November 14 during the meeting at the American Heart Association, in Anaheim.

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