According to a new study by Cardiogram (a company that can analyze data collected by Apple Watch pertaining to an individual’s heart rate), Apple Watch has the capability to discover and identify the signs of diabetes.

Researchers at Cardiogram collaborated with the University of California, San Francisco and established, by using the Cardiogram DeepHeart neural network, that heart rate data gathered by Apple Watch was about 85 percent precise at differentiating between people with and without diabetes.

For the purpose of the analysis, Cardiogram made use of about 200 million sensor measurements obtained from over 14,011 participants using the Cardiogram app and the Android Wear device or Apple Watch. Data, which included step count, heart rate and other activity, was aggregated by the company.

Due to the fact that traditional detection methods need hardware that sensed glucose, prediabetes becomes a condition that more often than not goes undiagnosed and unnoticed. Prognosis through an AI-based algorithm such as Cardiogram’s DeepHeart as well as the Apple Watch enables the user to be alert about a probable issue and seek help from a specialised professional or a doctor.

Cardiogram’s study, according to the company, is the first big-scale study that goes on to show how a simplistic heart rate sensor, such as the one in devices like the Fitbit and the Apple Watch, can discover the initial indications of diabetes. This happens because the heart and the pancreas are connected to each other through the nervous system; when an individual starts to experience the symptoms of diabetes, his heart rate variability fluctuates.

Over the span of a year, UCSF and Cardiogram have collaborated to undertake extensive research into the wrist-worn heart rate sensors’ potential to discover and identify serious health problems such as atrial fibrillation, hypertension and sleep apnea.

Although, there is still time for research to officially corroborate whether the Apple Watch can discover initial health conditions, Cardiogram intends to execute new features that would incorporate DeepHeart into the cardiogram app directly, which will in turn alert users to the earliest signs of disease detected.

Not just that, Apple itself has teamed up with Stanford to test if the Apple Watch heart rate sensors can detect common heart problems and abnormal rhythms. Anyone can take part in the Apple Heart Study by installing the Apple Heart Study app also wearing the Apple watch regularly. Upon detecting an irregular heart rhythm, the person will be contacted by one of the researchers and might be instructed to wear an ePatch monitor.

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Adam Paul is the Vice President of Content Development for Trends Desk. He holds more than 10 years of understanding in supervising content for technology professionals, and authored 3 books and hundreds of articles in chemical arena. He was executive editor at one of the leading news portals and authored a popular column identifying trends in chemical industry.

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