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

New study shows how Apple Watch can be used to detect sleep apnea & hypertension

Researchers have found the Apple watch can be successfully used for precise detection of hypertension and sleep apnea. Cardiogram's app called "DeepHeart" is connected to a neural network that can spot high blood pressure in 82% of cases and sleep apnea in 90% of cases. The findings prompted Apple to join forces with a Stanford team for their own research on the matter. apple is confident the Apple Watch can detect other common heart conditions.

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.

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. Meanwhile according to the American Sleep Apnea Association 80% of United States adults are considered to have moderate and severe cases of undiagnosed sleep apnea. The study was based on already established guidelines that suggest people with low heat rate variability are 1.44 times more likely to develop high blood pressure, and that algorithms can accurately determine sleep apnea by looking at beat-to-beat heart rate variability. Sleep apnea can prove to be deadly when a person may stop breathing while sleeping leading to death. Often a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea involves an overnight stay in a clinic setting and a poor night's rest for the participant.

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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.

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.

"The idea here is that by screening continuously you would identify people with hypertension who might not know they have it", said Hsieh.

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