February 8, 2018

HEALTH: Apple Watch heart-rate sensor can detect diabetes with 85 percent accuracy.

There is a caveat to that figure, however — it only stands for patients who have previously been diagnosed with diabetes already.

All the same, the study suggests that the Apple Watch could be a viable healthcare accessory moving forward. The research examined data from 14,000 Apple Watch owners, and determined that 462 had diabetes by using the heart-rate sensor in the watch. How was it able to do so? According to the 2015 Framingham Heart Study, diabetes patients have heart rates that vary from healthy individuals. As such, the Watch’s heart-rate sensor could theoretically detect these irregular heart rates, and consequently, identify a diabetes patient.

As TechCrunch points out, this is the same sort of sensor other fitness wearables use, which means that this capability likely isn’t restricted to the Apple Watch.

The Holy Grail of wearables for diabetes sufferers is an insulin measurer/injector which doesn’t need to prick the skin, and while this is a far cry from that, it is another step in the right direction.