A study endorses the Apple Watch as a tool to diagnose sleep apnea and hypertension

Apple Watch

It is not new news that the Apple Watch is being used for medical research, HealthKit and ResearchKit are precisely there for that.

But it is always surprising to see all the advances that are obtained with the clock. A new study resulting from the efforts of Cardiogram has shown that the Apple Watch can be useful to diagnose sleep apnea and hypertension in patients.

The study has been done with 6,115 participants in California, all of them with an Apple Watch on their wrist. Broadly speaking, the study has benefited from an automatic learning algorithm called DeepHeart to diagnose those ailments in patients who did not even know they had them.

Learning to diagnose based on data

The idea was to collect the data of 70% of the participants using their Apple Watch, to then pass them through that algorithm. The result has allowed diagnosing sleep apnea and hypertension with effectiveness to the remaining 30% of participants, only looking at their data and without passing them through an algorithm.

Sleep apnea has been diagnosed with 90% effectiveness and hypertension, which affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, with 82% effectiveness. They are ailments that, if not treated well, can lead to heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.

The traditional method to diagnose a sleep apnea involves sleeping in a hospital attached to machines that do not make the experience something exactly comfortable, so the advantage of doing it with an Apple Watch is more than obvious.