Sarah Buhr, TechCrunch:
A new study out from health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) suggests wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit and others are able to accurately detect common but serious conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million adults in the U.S., with another 80 percent of cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. This is a serious condition where the person affected stops breathing in their sleep and can lead to death.
The current process for diagnosing sleep apnea typically requires an overnight stay in a sleep center, where they connect an array of sensors to detect and track your sleeping and breathing patterns. Often, a breathing device is prescribed and fitted, with another overnight to verify that it is working correctly. Every element of this process is expensive, and (at least in the US) is not always covered by health insurance.
Anything the Apple Watch can do to cut down on the inconvenience and expense is a boon.
Here’s a link to the study, in case you want to learn more.