Study Suggests Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor Can Detect Hypertension and Sleep Apnea

by

The Apple Watch may be able to accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea, according to a new study published today by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Cardiogram, a company that's developed an app that breaks down heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch.

Using data collected from 6,115 Apple Watch owners and interpreted by Cardiogram's deep neural network "DeepHeart," the study found that the neural network was able to recognize hypertension (aka high blood pressure) with 82 percent accuracy and sleep apnea with 90 percent accuracy.


Based on previously-established principles suggesting people with low heart rate variability are 1.44x more likely to develop hypertension and that algorithms can accurately determine sleep apnea by beat-to-beat rate variability, Cardiogram and UCSF researchers recruited people for a Health eHeart study and then trained the DeepHeart neural network to detect new variables.

Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Ballinger told TechCrunch the DeepHeart neural network was trained using data from 70 percent of participants, and then tested on the remaining 30 percent who were not used for training purposes. Of the 6,115 people who participated in the study, sleep apnea was detected in 1,016 participants and hypertension in 2,230.

The study results are promising enough that Cardiogram believes with additional research, wearables like the Apple Watch could be used as a cost effective way to test for hypertension and sleep apnea.

The result was accuracy high enough to support feasible, cost-effective, widely-deployable screening of hypertension and sleep apnea.

For sleep apnea, DeepHeart achieved an accuracy (c-statistic, or AUC ROC) of 90%, with several attractive operating points. For example, we can detect 52% of sleep apnea ( compared to 20% today) with a specificity of 97%. If a specificity of 82% is acceptable, then we can detect even more sleep apnea, about 75% of people. For hypertension, the AUC was 0.82, with an example operating point of 81% sensitivity at 63.2% specificity.

Cardiogram says that peer-reviewed clinical research will be necessary to further determine whether wearables are able to screen for major health conditions like sleep apnea and hypertension, but the research results will be translated into future Cardiogram features.

Cardiogram previously used the same neural network and Apple Watch data to determine that the Apple Watch is able to detect abnormal heart rate rhythms with 97 percent accuracy. This has led Apple team up with Stanford for its own study on whether the Apple Watch can detect abnormal health rhythms and common heart problems.

In the future, Cardiogram plans to expand its research to additional conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
38 months ago

Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...

I used to think that too, but I've recently started wearing my watch to bed to monitor my sleep with the app Sleep Watch.

Turns out getting the battery to last for me throughout the day and night was just a matter of changing my charging habits. Now I charge the watch after I get up while I'm getting ready. Usually charges enough to make it through the day and the next night... and that's with a Series 0.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...

Speak for yourself. The Series 3 42mm lasts about 2.5 days for me and fully charges in 45 min. It gets a full days charge from about 15-20 min.

I charged it last night while taking a shower. Wore it to bed for use as my alarm and wore it all day without charging it again at work using it (email, messages, Things, the time) and it’s at 67%. If I were to throw it on the charger it would be fullly charged in 10-15 min. That’s about the length of my shower and getting dressed.

If I sleep with it on I lose about 4% overnight (turning theatre mode on helps).

The battery life issue has definitely been solved.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...

I sleep with mine every night. I charge it for about 1.5 hours each morning before work.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...

Series 3 has phenomenal battery life. I can go for multiple days before I have to charge.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Too bad the battery doesn’t last long enough to wear all night and be charged for the next day...

Horsepucky. My S0 is 2 1/2 years old, and EVERY night it is on my wrist. I’m deaf, so it’s my alarm clock. In the morning I get up, put it on the charger (typically 40-60% charged) have my morning tea, and by the time I’ve had my shower it’s ready for the next 24 hours.

But, haters gonna hate.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...