Apple Watch doesn’t only make us more physically active, but it can also make us more aware of our health by detecting diseases.
According to the clinical study conducted by researchers at Cardiogram and UCSF (University of California San Francisco), Apple Watch can detect whether a person has diabetes or not. The study, which is part of DeepHeart study, used the data of 14,011 users of the Cardiogram app on the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices with heart sensors. As many as 462 of the users were detected to have diabetes through the health sensor data, among a data set of 200 million heart rate and step count measurements. The deep neural network is able to detect diabetes with an impressive accuracy rate 85 percent.
“Your heart is connected with your pancreas via the autonomic nervous system. As people develop the early stages of diabetes, their pattern of heart rate variability shifts,” said one of Cardiogram’s founders, Johnson Hsieh. “In 2015, the Framingham Heart Study showed that high resting heart rate and low heart rate variability predict who will develop diabetes over a 12-year period. In 2005, the ARIC study showed that heart rate variability declines faster in diabetics than non-diabetics over a 9-year period.”
Cardiogram works with wearables like Apple Watch. A quarter million people use the Cardiogram app and around 187,500 of them use it on a daily basis. By studying correlations or anomalies from the data gathered, diseases can be detected and prevented by seeking professional medical assistance.
More than 100 million U.S. adults have diabetes and a quarter of them go undiagnosed. With Apple Watch, detection wouldn’t be that much of a problem anymore. Early detection can help in preventing the disease from getting worse. In the past, researchers at Cardiogram were able to detect abnormal heart rhythm through Apple Watch with a high accuracy rate of 97 percent. Also, sleep apnea was detected with 90 percent accuracy, and hypertension with 82 percent accuracy. Previous studies and findings have been published already in clinical journals, while the latest studies will soon be published too. According to Cardiogram, they are planning on looking at other diseases that could be detected through heart sensors.
Despite this outstanding breakthrough, users must not rely merely on the Apple watch. Users should still go see their doctor.