New health study shows how Apple Watch can detect sleep apnea & hypertension

In a collaboration between the University of California San Fransisco and the developers of health startup Cardiogram, a new study was presented Monday detailing the ways Apple Watch is capable of detecting sleep apnea, as well as hypertension.

This is not the first study using Apple Watch, as Apple generated quite a few headlines with the announcement of the Heart Health study back during WWDC.

This time instead of focusing on heart health, they are using the same sensors to detect other anomalies. In an impressive presentation at the American Heart Association, they showed how hypertension was able to be detected with 82% accuracy, and even more impressively, sleep apnea was able to be detected with 90% accuracy.

The study utilized 6,115 participants who used an Apple Watch and the Cardiogram app. They detected sleep apnea in 1,016 of users, and hypertension in 2,230 of users who participated in the study.

“Our DNN demonstrates surprisingly good prediction of hypertension and sleep apnea given that its only inputs are heart rate and step count.” said the study’s authors. “Whether such DNNs can provide durable and portable predictions for these conditions in other study samples is worth pursuing.”

The momentum for health studies utilizing the iPhone and Apple Watch has been increasing as of late.

It is no surprise with the amount of effort Apple has gone to encourage this with their release of HealthKit and ResearchKit.