Apple Watch & Stress Prediction – Debunking The Myth
Ever since the journey of Apple Watch has evolved, individuals with an eye on fitness have used it to great perfection whether it comes to managing their sleep and exercise patterns or simply calculating the stressful hours they’ve had in the past. It is all about keeping oneself optimised to an extent where you are sure of achieving certain levels thanks to your routine and the fixed information and advice you are constantly getting from your Apple Watch. The pure magic band on your wrist is everything you need when you go out and want to keep your phone glued to your pockets. And by adding the promising features for the future, Apple is taking a giant leap into the world of tracking and fitness and without a lot of competition cutting its sales.
The newly released Apple Series 8 has unmatched capabilities to monitor your blood oxygen level, to help you record your temperatures, amongst other cool features. You can read that blog here, but to continue with the Apple Watch Stress Prediction, does it really work? Does it help you like it states in the advertisements? Let us find out in the blog.
Promising & Quite Sturdy – Studies Claim About Apple Watch’s Stress Predictor
You will come across a lot of users and Apple Watch critics who will shy away from agreeing with the studies around Apple’s prowess in the world of health and monitoring. They will always have apprehensions in using the device and will quote that it is not as accurate as it should be. But studies have claimed otherwise and we’re here to talk about that. According to a report, it states that the comparative reports from the Apple Watch can be used to develop a stress prediction tool based on ECG readings. This news has been published widely as Apple is being hailed for its progressive technological advancement and for the use of technology for a good cause. It is believed stress is an increasingly prevalent mental health condition that can have serious effects on human health. Thus, constant monitoring and deducing a plan for the future is where the effectiveness of the Apple Watch lies.
How Does It Work?
Now let us learn about the functioning of the Apple Watch Stress Prediction feature.
Ever since the arrival of Apple Watch Series 4, Apple has introduced an electrical heart rate sensor that works along with the ECG app. The feature enables an individual to record his heartbeat and rhythm. The feature mainly checks atrial fibrillation (AFib), a form of irregular rhythm that can cause a problem for the heart in the coming days or months.
Now how does this exactly help to detect stress? That is possible with the help of the watch’s ECG sensor data. ECG or electrocardiogram is a test that can record the timing and strength of the electrical signals that make the heart beat. By gaining these insights a doctor can help find irregularities and prepare a course of action for the future.
The Apple Watch ECG feature on Apple Watch 6 was used to conduct the study that we’re referring to and it stated that participants reported stress levels when the readings were taken and that the irregularities in the heart or its acceleration/deceleration are related to the increased stress levels. Further, using Machine Learning algorithms, it was found out that the data regarding stress levels – as read on the predicted model – is highly precise but of low recall value meaning it is not a regular occurrence.
The conclusion was that Apple Watch has promising potential for stress prediction and it was noted that additional data points can be added by taking into account the additional information that the watch collects while monitoring regular activity, walking, sleeping patterns, etc.
The feature is available on Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, and the Apple Watch Ultra. Despite being two of the top selling Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch SE 1 and SE 2 do not have the ECG feature.
The Future of Apple Watch in Healthcare Sector
The research that extensively explained the possibilities of the Apple Watch also shed light on its capability to aid mental health care in the future. It was said that the watch’s pattern can offer activities such as deep breathing to calculate stress signals better and use it for further diagnosis. This is also the tool that can be used to respond to mental health changes earlier than at the stage of mid-level diagnosis, which is said to start only after the patient shows signs of suffering and illness.
The research paper stated, “The current models have high specificity, predicting ‘no stress’ states relatively well, [but] it lacks the predictive power to accurately predict the ‘stress’ states as of yet. Overall, the results presented here suggest that, with further development and refinement, Apple Watch ECG sensor data could be used to develop a stress prediction tool.”
Let’s hope the future is great with the Apple Watch on our sleeves. Stay tuned for more techlicious updates. We will be back with another interesting piece in the future.
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