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Wearables can detect early signs of diabetes, study shows

By Shawn Knight ยท 4 replies
Feb 7, 2018
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  1. Digital health-tracking start-up Cardiogram on Wednesday at the annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence in New Orleans presented research suggesting it’s possible to use the heart rate sensor and step counter in wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbits to determine if a person has diabetes.

    In partnership with UC San Francisco, the start-up trained a deep neural network using samples from people with and without diabetes. The network, dubbed DeepHeart, was trained using two semi-supervised deep learning techniques (“unsupervised sequence pretraining” and “weakly-supervised heuristic pretraining”). Once trained, the neural network was able to determine if an individual had diabetes with 85 percent accuracy.

    As Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Ballinger tells Upbeat, diabetes is a serious health issue. More than 100 million adults in the US are now living with prediabetes or diabetes. One in four of those with diabetes are undiagnosed and more than 88 percent of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.

    Cardiogram and UCSF previously demonstrated the neural network’s ability to detect hypertension (chronic high blood pressure), sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation. If you recall, the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch was able to detect such conditions 97 percent of the time.

    The new research is significant as it is the first large-scale study to show that ordinary heart rate sensors can identify early signs of diabetes.

    “If Apple includes a glucose monitor in the next Watch, we'll be the first developers to try it,” Ballinger said. “We designed DeepHeart to be both multi-task (able to detect multiple health conditions) and multi-channel (able to incorporate multiple sensor data streams) for exactly that reason.”

    Thumbnail courtesy The Verge

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Evangelist Posts: 306   +123

    I have a problem with consumer products are marketed as health monitors. Aside from the benefits, and that it has a 85% success rate, what do the other 15% (est. 15 million) who have these devices that they rely on? Until it is 100%, like a periodic doctor's visit and trip to the lab for a1c blood test, people are risking their lives. Lots of work needed to get them to 100%, and by that time, these devices won't be consumer priced. if you or your family have a history of diabetes, get checked out.
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,305   +2,763

    AND the periodic readings on blood cannot replace the normal 6 month A1C reading for accumulated sugar in the blood stream. If they don't watch themselves, these folks are bucking for a lawsuit from all that think this watch is going to replace everything else!
     
    OneSpeed likes this.
  4. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Addict Posts: 119   +100

    Yeah, right. One small Q: who founded this study? Apple?
    I don't deny the need for great medication, but we have to agree on the fact that there is a certain push, beyond normal and medical limits, to make people sick and to give them medications, just to increase profits.
     
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,326   +1,434

    I dont think the point of these is to replace regular tests. Rather, if the watch can detect when your sugar levels are going high before your body does, even if it isnt always accurate, it can make it easier to keep averages down and reduce damage.

    If I had a watch that could pick up 85% of my high blood sugars before I did and alerted me, it would make a huge difference in my overall A1C levels. Now, I have a CGM that does this, but for those whose insurance wont cover it one of these watched might be a good investment.
     

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