Study: Apple Watch is 97% accurate when detecting one of the common causes of heart failure


With its huge share of the global smartwatch market, the Apple Watch is undoubtedly the most popular wearable device of this type. And there is a good reason for that – it is a good-looking watch and a convenient fitness tracker with many capabilities. But as it turns out, the Apple Watch can also be a very useful tool that doctors could use for early diagnosis of a common, but dangerous heart rhythm anomaly called atrial fibrillation (AF). 

According to a recent study conducted through heartbeat measurement app Cardiogram in cooperation with the University of California, San Francisco, the Apple Watch is highly accurate in detecting atrial fibrillation. The goal of the study, started in 2016, was to find out how well the Apple Watch and the Cardiogram app could detect this common cause of heart failures. The researchers developed a custom AI algorithm for the the Cardiogram app to train a deep neural network, so that it can reliably identify abnormal heart rhythms. They used heart rate data gathered with Apple Watch devices from 6,158 participants in the study. 


As a result, the AI-enabled software and the Apple Watch were 97% accurate in detecting AF anomalies. According to the study authors, the result is important because atrial fibrillation causes a quarter of all strokes, but about two-thirds of those types of heart failures are preventable with relatively inexpensive drugs. The study also proves that consumer-grade wearables can be used to detect disease, the researchers point out. And they think it is just the beginning – in the future, wearable devices like the Apple Watch and apps like Cardiogram could be used not just to detect, but to also treat diseases.

source: Cardiogram via Wearable

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7 Comments

1. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Interesting. Maybe phones could also do that?

2. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Galaxy has heart sensor !

3. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Note: all watches doings this apple paid tech websites.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

right, this article only highlighting apple watch, and praise it like it's the best wearable ever, lol.. while the source (cardiogr.am) only mention "apple watch" 3 times, they only use it as a tool.. and their conclusion is "The most promising finding of our study is proof that consumer-grade wearables can be used to detect disease" that mean consumer-grade wearables or all wearable out there are can be used too...

4. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Not so much the Apple watch as the fact that it is a heart monitor that basically is constantly monitoring your heart, as such it can provide steady information, plenty of heart monitor bands and fitness bands can do this too.

5. hpspectrex360

Posts: 56; Member since: May 10, 2017

Samsung should just ditch the heart rate monitor on their phones. They aren't accurate enough to be relied upon for medical purposes, and it just doesn't belong on a phone.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4220; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Problem is the constant heart rate monitoring would drive a race between who dies first, you or the watch battery.

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