Wearables Could Be Used to Detect Diabetes and Heart Diseases

Wearables Could Be Used to Detect Diabetes and Heart Diseases

When paired with artificial intelligence, data from wearable tech and smartphones can be used to predict serious health issues, which allows both for a better understanding of the conditions and improved treatment.

Your Apple Watch or smartphone might be saving your life- and I don’t mean that metaphorically. By collecting information such as heart rate and step count throughout the day, these everyday gadgets could provide invaluable information for various health studies or give you a heads up on potential health issues.

The Health eHeart Study, for example, hopes that prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases could be revolutionized by big data. They want to have information about heart health from more people than any research study has done before and they plan on doing that by focusing on the online world and modern technologies. Instead of relying on information from an annual or biannual visits to a doctor, they use data from smartphone apps and wearables, such as Apple Watch, and patient surveys. And it seems to be working.

Just this month, new findings revealed that monitoring health-related data through these channels can detect severe issues with high accuracy. A team of researchers, in partnership with the Health eHeart study, discovered that, when combined with an AI, information about heart rate and step count could help them detect diabetes with 85 percent accuracy. And not only that: they were able to diagnose sleep apnea with 80 percent accuracy, as well as hypertension (80 percent), and high cholesterol (67 percent).

Pairing deep neural networks and big data seems to uncover new possibilities in medicine, and this study alone proves that there is enormous potential for this method to diagnose serious health conditions in their infancy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: we could hope to achieve more effective treatments of existing diseases, find out more about health conditions we don’t know enough about, and even have personalized health predictions.

Photo credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

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