February 9, 2018

Apple Watch and Other Wearables Can Detect Early Signs of Diabetes, Cardiogram Study Finds

That tiny wearable on our wrist – such as Apple Watch, Android Wear, Garmin or Fitbits – not only keep us more active, they can also detect a variety of heart diseases without needing any additional bands or accessories. But a new study by a digital health-tracking startup called ‘Cardiogram’ is taking it one step further.


A new study conducted by ‘Cardiogram’ from the data collected by Apple Watch and Android Wear users showed that it is possible to detect early signs of diabetes using the smartwatch with heart rate sensors. Yes, just by looking at people’s heart-rate data from the wearables, they can detect early signs of diabetes.

The study – a collaboration between UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) Department of Medicine and Cardiogram – is a large-scale one involving more than 14,000 Apple Watch and Android Wear users.

The researchers used a health sensor data to train a deep neural network called DeepHeart to distinguish people with and without diabetes. The accuracy rate was found to be 85% – good enough to justify further medical tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Cardiogram co-founder Johnson Hsieh explained how the condition can be diagnosed using nothing more than heart-rate data.

“Your heart is connected with your pancreas via the autonomic nervous system. As people develop the early stages of diabetes, their pattern of heart rate variability shifts.”

The study was presented at the annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence at New Orleans, USA.

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