Apple Watch Can Accurately Detect Hypertension, Sleep Apnea

The Apple Watch on display

The Apple Watch can accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea, a new study suggests

Though it was originally developed for Apple Watch, Cardiogram can now be used with wearables including Fitbits, Apple Watches, Garmins, and Android Wear devices.

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

The University of California San Francisco and Health startup Cardiogram have partnered together on another study aiming to provide details on just how well the Apple Watch is able to detect common health problems.

The study found that the neural network could correctly recognize hypertension with 82% accuracy and sleep apnea with 90% accuracy. In this case, the algorithm was able to detect arrhythmia in study participants with 97 percent accuracy.

It affects 22million adults in the United States 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. This is a serious condition where the person affected stops breathing in their sleep and can lead to death.

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. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is another serious condition that puts people at risk for heart disease and stroke - the top causes of death in the U.S. According to Center for Disease Control statistics, about 75 million American adults have hypertension.

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". All of the participants used the Cardiogram app in their Apple watches over a period of time.

More than one billion people globally suffer from hypertension, with 20 percent of these left undiagnosed, the World Health Organization claims.

As for the Cardiogram study, Ballinger said the results will soon go into the peer review process to validate whether wearables can be used as screeners for major health care conditions. Sleep apnea was detected in more than 1,016 participants, while hypertension was identified in 2,230 participants.

Latest News