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Apple Watch: Fragility Syndrome Detector and Quantifier

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.
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Both from its functions and from Apple’s communication policy, it is indisputably evident that the main focus of the Apple Watch is health. And it is that with each new version of the Cupertino smartwatch, the sensors are new and the functions aimed both at quantifying the sports activities of its owner and at ensuring their health, monitoring any signal that may be worrying and before which may be necessary to take action.

It is enough to give a review of the functions of the Apple Watch Series 6, of which you can read a complete review here, as well as check the evolution that has been experienced from generation to generation (Watch Series 2, Watch Series 3, Watch Series 4 and the Watch Series 5) to see what at first it aimed to be a complement for the iPhonehave found their way, and while they obviously continue to maintain and add new general-purpose features, it is clear that they know that health is their greatest asset. And they have done a good job, that is undeniable.

So much so that, as we already told you a few months ago, studies are finding new functions that, despite not having been initially contemplated for the Apple Watch, are born from the combination of all the biometric information captured by the watch. The most interesting and recent example we had, until now, with the coronavirus, and now, thanks to a study carried out by Stanford University, we know that it also could be used to quantify frailty syndrome.

Present mainly in older people, frailty syndrome is nothing more than the definition and quantification of the physical deterioration associated with aging, and that translates into less physical resistance to both endogenous and exogenous elements and events. The correct quantification of it can be key to many aspects of the lives of people who suffer from it: from increasing prevention measures for any cardiovascular problem to deciding whether or not a person can undergo a surgical process.

Apple Watch: Fragility Syndrome Detector and Quantifier

In the study, which has been funded by Apple, an Apple Watch was provided to each of the 110 participants, all of them with cardiovascular problems and diseases and with a mean age of 68.9 years. The youngest of the participants was 57 and the oldest was 89 at the time of the study, between May 2018 and May 2019. hypertension, diabetes mellitus, aortic stenosis, atrial fibrillation and heart failure were the pathologies more present in the participants.

To carry out the test They were given an Apple Watch Series 3 and an iPhone 7, which were used to take different readings of their users when they performed a sports routine pre-established by the researchers at home. After several data collections, these were crossed with those obtained in a clinic after undergoing the same sports routine, commonly used to assess frailty syndrome.

Based on the findings, the Apple Watch was able to accurately determine brittleness with a 90% sensitivity and 85% specificity when supervised in a clinical setting. At home, the sensitivity was 83% and the specificity was 60%. It is true, of course, that the results of the clinic are more accurate than those of the Apple Watch, but 83% in the home environment is a fairly high degree of effectiveness, and that it can act as a reinforcement to clinical tests.

What’s more. There is a detail that is important to focus on: the study was carried out with an Apple Watch Series 3, that is, several generations behind the current technology in Apple’s smartwatch. Therefore, it is possible that in its current state, with more and better sensors and metrics, its ability to quantify frailty syndrome has increased relative to what the study shows us.

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