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Apple Watch Might Be Able To Detect Hypertension, Sleep Apnea


The Apple Watch can accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea in users, a new study found.

According to the study, the smartwatch's heart-rate sensor and step counter can make a fair prediction of whether a person has high blood pressure or sleep apnea, when paired with the right machine-learning algorithms.

The study was conducted by the University of California San Francisco or UCSF and Cardiogram, the developer of an app that breaks down heart rate data collected by the smartwatch.

In the study on mobile health, Cardiogram's deep neural network "DeepHeart" interpreted data collected from 6,115 Apple Watch owners. The study found that with one week of data on a wearer, the algorithms can predict hypertension, i.e., high blood pressure with 82 percent accuracy and sleep apnea with 90 percent accuracy.

Of the 6,115 people who participated in the study, sleep apnea was detected in 1,016 participants and hypertension in 2,230.

Both high blood pressure and sleep apnea are common conditions associated with life-threatening problems, including stroke and heart attack.

In September, Apple said that it is working on a study with Stanford that will test whether the gadget can detect atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, which can lead to stroke or heart failure.

Health insurer Aetna said last week that it is teaming with Apple to give Apple Watches to members to try to reduce health costs.

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