Apple Watch And Other Wearables Can Detect Early Signs Of Diabetes, Study Finds


Diabetes has a new enemy in the Apple Watch and other wearables as a new study indicates these smart devices can detect the disease with significant accuracy.

In a joint study conducted by health app developer Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco, it was found that smartwatches powered by iOS, Android, and other platforms are capable of diagnosing diabetes in advance with an accuracy of 85 percent. The wearables' built-in sensor detected the deadly disease with the help of DeepHeart, which according to Cardiogram is a deep neural network instrument that makes use of algorithm governed by artificial intelligence (AI).

"Researchers at Cardiogram and UCSF validated the accuracy of DeepHeart, a deep neural network, in distinguishing between people with and without diabetes, achieving 85 percent accuracy on a large data set which included 200 million heart rate and step count measurements," Cardiogram cofounder Johnson Hsieh reported.

In addition to diabetes, the same wearables can tell if a person has hypertension, sleep apnea, and atrial fibrillation, provided the devices also make use of the DeepHeart detection technology, Hsieh said. He added that these health conditions can be diagnosed with nearly the same accuracy seen in the detection of diabetes.

Early Detection Is Crucial

Brandon Ballinger, Cardiogram's other cofounder, said DeepHeart working in tandem with the already available wearable is a big step forward in the fight against diabetes. He indicated that his firm's work, which involved 14,000 individuals that wear Apple Watch and other smart watches, is a solid proof that "ordinary heart rate sensors — when paired with an artificial intelligence-based algorithm — can identify early signs of diabetes."

"By detecting diabetes earlier, we can help people live longer and healthier lives," Ballinger stated.

The Cardiogram report also took note that DeepHeart's early detection capability came into light following the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that revealed over 100 million Americans are known to suffer from diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It was shown in the same CDC study that as many as 25 percent of diabetes cases remain undiagnosed.

Even more alarming is CDC's findings that Americans believed with prediabetes now stand at around 88 percent but most if not all are unaware of their health conditions.

If DeepHeart will get integrated with smart watches stock features soon, Cardiogram is optimistic that further spread of diabetes and other diseases will be addressed and their complications possibly prevented.

The DeepHeart technology, for instance, could speed up the rumored release of Apple's noninvasive diabetes sensors, which the tech company has confirmed will not become a reality anytime soon.

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