Heart Sensors in Apple Watch Can Detect Early Signs of Diabetes

February 15, 2018, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It is very difficult to identify and diagnose pre-diabetes condition in a human body. The traditional method of diabetes detection requires glucose sensing hardware. But the latest study by Cardiogram, a company that offers application which is able to break down heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch, reveals that the watch can help detect diabetes.

The study was conducted in association with the University of California, San Francisco. Making use of the Cardiogram DeepHeart neural network it was concluded that the heart rate data collected from the Apple Watch was 85 percent accurate at distinguishing between people with diabetes and people without diabetes.

As many as 200 million sensor measurements from 14,011 participants using an Apple Watch or Android Wear device and the Cardiogram app were used by Cardiogram for the study. In order to conduct the study, they collected data including the heart rate, step count and other activities. The detection is possible because pancreas is connected to through the nervous system and when a person is experiencing diabetes symptoms there will variation in the heart rate.

Previous studies of the company, which in co-ordination with University of California, San Francisco had done researches to identify the potential of wrist- worn heart rate sensors to detect serious health conditions, had revealed that the device can detect hyper tension, sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.

Cardiogram is also planning to implement its application which if installed to the devices will alert the users when signs of diseases are detected. The company also stated that the large-scale study, they are conducting to learn how devices such as Apple Watch and Fitbit can detect health issues are first of its kind.

Meanwhile in partnership with Stranford, the smart phone giant Apple itself is conducting its own study to analyze whether the sensors in Apple Watch can be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms and conditions.

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