A new study asserts that the Apple Watch’s ECG feature and other measurements can serve as a basic stress detector.
In 2020, it was rumored that the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 would include features for monitoring mental health conditions, particularly anxiety. Apple has excluded such a nervousness or stress application at this point.
However, based on what else it is designed to detect, a limited new study asserts that the Apple Watch is already useful for stress prediction.
According to the Frontiers in Digital Health research paper, “[The] link between stress and multiple biomarkers has revealed opportunities to develop technologies to quantify stress.” Heart rate variability (HRV), which is now routinely measured with an electrocardiograph (ECG), is one of these characteristics.
Since Apple Watch Series 4, the device has included an ECG function.
According to the publication, “Participants were given an iPhone 7 with iOS 15.0 and an Apple Watch Series 6 containing an installed Apple Watch ECG app (WatchOS 8.3) for two weeks.” “They were instructed to collect data 6 times during the day in approximately three-hour intervals… Before the ECG collection, participants were asked to complete a stress questionnaire on the iPhone.”
The research paper continues, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to use Apple Watch ECG data to predict stress levels of individuals’ stress levels.” In addition, despite being at the low end, the results are in line with the initial state of the art in stress prediction.”
So even without a particular pressure highlight, Apple Watch can work as an essential, whenever restricted, stress identifier. ” The researchers state, “This is very promising considering the ultra-short-term and real-life nature of the Apple Watch ECG data as well as its novelty.”
“However, while the current models have high specificity, predicting ‘no stress’ states relatively well,” they go on to say, “it lacks the predictive power to accurately predict the’stress’ states as of yet.” Despite this, they are able to accurately predict’stress’ states.
Frontiers in Digital Health and the University of Waterloo in Ontario carried out the study. It was small, with only 33 people participating in the end. There were 73% women and 27% men among those who took part, and their ages ranged from 18 to over 65.
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