Apple watch will become a smart doctor

A research team at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found that the Apple Watch could be a useful diagnosis tool for high blood pressure and sleep apnea if paired with an app developed by Cardiogram. In their first effort, they similarly found that the Apple Watch could detect a serious but often symptomless type of heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation. Apple has proactively pursued health care apps for its operating systems and Apple Watch, and has filed patents for health-related wearable tech like emergency-detecting sensors. DeepHeart was 90 percent accurate when detecting sleep apnea and 82 percent accurate on detecting hypertension.

It affects 22million adults in the USA and if left untreated the oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes and heart attacks. In addition, 80 percent of cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. Sleep apnea can prove to be deadly when a person may stop breathing while sleeping leading to death.

Earlier this year, another study conducted by UCSF and Cardiogram successfully detected abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) in Apple Watch wearers.

The study authors wrote that the algorithm could offer a "surprisingly good prediction of hypertension and sleep apnea given that its only inputs are heart rate and step count". "If you have hypertension it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease".

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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. DeepHeart was trained on data from 70 percent of participants and tested on the 30 percent of participants that weren't the same participants used to collect the data.

The current study used a sample of 6,115 participants. The study is promising as a way to diagnose health problems in people who may not they have it.

He adds: 'Then you'd guide them through the appropriate final diagnosis, which would be through a blood pressure cuff and then treatment'.

The crucial difference an Apple Watch or other heart rate-monitoring wearable has over visiting a doctor is its ability to constantly monitor and record data.

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