Consumer wearables can detect major heart problem

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the cardiogram app combines consumer wearables with AI to detect health conditions

The dawn of fitness wearables has allowed us to track exercise, count steps and generally look like we know what we’re doing in the gym. But arguably their full potential has yet to be fully harnessed.

A study has just been published showing that everyday consumer wearables, including the Apple Watch, Android Wear, and products from Garmin, are capable of detecting the most common abnormal heart rhythm with 97 percent accuracy.

The study was carried out by mobile health data startup Cardiogram in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Titled, ‘Passive Detection of Atrial Fibrillation Using a Commercially Available Smartwatch’, it’s available to read online at JAMA Cardiology.

Read more: Health IoT: KardiaBand sensor could replace invasive blood tests

Training a deep neural network

Cardiogram and UCSF have developed a deep neural network capable of detecting atrial fibrillation. The condition will affect 25 percent of us at some point in our lives, is responsible for 25 percent of all strokes, and is often left undiagnosed.

“By using software to transform ordinary wearables into personal health monitors, we can literally save lives,” said Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Ballinger.

The software, named DeepHeart, is the result of 9,750 Cardiogram users taking part in UC San Francisco’s Health eHeart Study. Together, they contributed 139 million heart rate and step count measurements, which were used by the DeepHeart neural network.

To validate the software, 51 cardioversion patients at UCSF were tested. DeepHeart was able to distinguish between normal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation with an accuracy of 97 percent.

Read more: Health IoT: App helps sports stars predict and manage injuries

Consumer wearables for health

Cardiogram claims to have over 750,000 monthly users, with 78 percent of those using its mobile application every day. That engagement rate, which is higher than that of the most popular social media networks, has coincided with the company’s recent research on major health conditions: hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, and, this week, atrial fibrillation.

Read more: Fitbit and Apple Watch can help predict diabetes, says report

“Over the last year, we’ve presented research on four major health conditions. The link between these health conditions and heart rate comes from the autonomic nervous system,” explained Ballinger.

“As you develop hypertension, for example, your pattern of beat-to-beat heart rate variability shifts – so your heart is not just an important organ in its own right, but also a vantage point into the rest of your health.”

The Cardiogram application is compatible with the Apple Watch, and any Android Wear watch with a heart rate sensor, including models from Huawei, LG, New Balance, and Montblanc.

Internet of Business says

Personal healthtech devices and other wearables that can be optimised to monitor health and fitness have been one of the big stories this year, alongside smart/connected car partnerships (good news) IoT security (bad news), and AI ethics (calls for action).

The revelation that wearables’ key application isn’t to offer us a window into our social world, as many people had thought, but a window into ourselves and how our own bodies are performing, has been transformative, and the levels of user engagement prove this.

The IoT is saving lives with data, and encouraging us to look after ourselves better: as positive an application of networked computing and analytics as you could wish for.

The post Consumer wearables can detect major heart problem appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Apple Watch can detect serious heart problem

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Apple Watch can accurately detect atrial fibrillation, a serious heart condition that is a leading cause of stroke. This advanced feature remains in testing. However, a new medical study offers proof that wearables can do far more than simply track fitness. In fact, they could actually keep the wearer alive. The Health eHeart Study, coordinated […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Apple Watch Can Detect AFib, Hyperkalemia with 90%+ Accuracy

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When Apple announced its first ever smartwatch in 2015, it was clearly targeting a new breed of fitness and health fanatics by offering them access to the the latest tracking tech from their wrists. There’s no denying that the Apple Watch is an indispensable tool for people who want to keep in shape and track […]
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AliveCor wearables may detect unsafe potassium levels in the future

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AliveCor is working on a new application for the technology behind its KardiaBand for Apple Watch. Last year, the FDA approved KardiaBand as a medical device, and it can record your heart rhythm and report on any rhythmic abnormalities that could be…
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AppleWatch wristband sensor claims to detect potassium in your blood — without needles

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The AliveCor KardiaBand, a sensor compatible with the Apple Watch, can detect dangerous levels of potassium in blood with 94 percent accuracy. Though the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved KardiaBand for this purpose, it’s an interesting step forward considering that, right now, the condition is usually caught using invasive blood tests that use needles.

The KardiaBand by AliveCor is a sensor that snaps into a slot on the watchband. The user touches the sensor, which then takes a reading of the electrical activity of the heart, called an electrocardiogram (EKG). This reading can reveal abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AFib), and the sensor sends the information to an app. Yesterday, at the American…

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Study Suggests AliveCor KardiaBand for Apple Watch Can Be Used With AI Algorithm to Detect High Potassium

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AliveCor, the company that makes an FDA-approved EKG band for the Apple Watch called KardiaBand, teamed up with the Mayo Clinic for a new study that suggests an AliveCor EKG device paired with artificial intelligence technology can non-invasively detect high levels of potassium in the blood.

A second study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic also confirms the KardiaBand’s ability to accurately detect atrial fibrillation.

AliveCor’s KardiaBand

For the potassium study, AliveCor used more than 2 million EKGs from the Mayo Clinic from 1994 to 2017 paired with four million serum potassium values and data from an AliveCor smartphone EKG device to create an algorithm that can successfully detect hyperkalemia, aka high potassium, with a sensitivity range between 91 and 94 percent.

High potassium in the blood is a sign of several concerning health conditions, like congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes, and it can also be detected due to the medications used to treat these conditions. According to AliveCor, hyperkalemia is associated with “significant mortality and arrhythmic risk,” but because it’s typically asymptomatic, it often goes undetected.

Currently, the only way to test for high potassium levels is through a blood test, which AliveCor is aiming to change with the new non-invasive monitoring functionality.

AliveCor says that the AI technology used in the study could be commercialized through the KardiaBand for Apple Watch to allow patients to better monitor their health. Vic Gundotra, AliveCor CEO, said that the company is “on the path to change the way hyperkalemia can be detected” using products like the Apple Watch.

For the Cleveland Clinic study, cardiologists aimed to determine whether KardiaBand for Apple Watch could differentiate between atrial fibrillation and a normal heart rhythm. The researchers discovered that the KardiaBand was able to successfully detect Afib at an accuracy level comparable to physicians interpreting the same EKGs. The Kardia algorithm was able to correctly interpret atrial fibrillation with 93 percent sensitivity and 94 percent specificity. Sensitivity increased to 99 percent with a physician review of the KardiaBand recordings.

KardiaBand, which has been available since late last year, is available for purchase from AliveCor or from for $199. Using the KardiaBand also requires a subscription to the AliveCor premium service, priced at $99 per year.

AliveCor premium paired with the KardiaBand offers SmartRhythm notifications, unlimited EKG readings, detection of atrial fibrillation or normal sinus rhythm, and unlimited cloud history and reporting of all EKGs.

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Can iPhones Get Viruses? How to Detect & Remove Viruses from Your iPhone

Can iPhones get viruses? It’s easy to revel in false security and believe our iPhones can’t be infected by viruses; after all, the Apple ecosystem has a great track record for safety and defense against electronic invasion of all kinds. No system is completely invulnerable, however, so it’s important to know that yes, your phone can be infected with viruses and other iPhone malware. So much personal data is stored on iPhones, including photos, messages, contacts, and of course every sensitive piece of information in every email account linked to your device! It’s terrible to think what a hacker could accomplish with all that data. On an even creepier level, the iPhone has listening, viewing, and tracking capabilities that, if hacked, can allow your personal conversations, the view from your camera, and your GPS location to be viewed and stored. Knowing all this, I’m sure you’re wondering, “does my iPhone have a virus?” If so, how can we remove viruses from iPhones? Is there a way to prevent another breach? Let’s get started learning about iPhone viruses so that we can detect, delete, and keep from getting reinfected with viruses. 

Related: 3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Mobile Fraud and Identity Theft     

Virus Protection for Your iPhone: How to Keep Your Device Safe

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated“iPhone, iPad, and Mac are the best tools for work, offering the world’s best user experience and the strongest security.” While that assertion may be true, iPhone owners need to do their part to keep their devices virus free, and not just rely on Apple to keep malware at bay.

Don’t Jailbreak Your iPhone: Protect Your iPhone from Viruses 

Sometimes there’s a temptation to jailbreak an iPhone so that software and apps outside of the Apple ecosystem can be uploaded. While it’s an understandable urge, once you jailbreak your iPhone you not only void your warranty, but leave your device open to viruses it was formerly protected against. In 2015, 225,000 jailbreakers had their data breached and Apple ID usernames and passwords stolen by malware called KeyRaider. Some of these hacking victims had their iPhones remotely locked, and held for ransom as well. Held for ransom means exactly what it sounds like; these hacked iPhone owners had to pay cyber criminals to unlock their phones. 

Once you’ve jailbroken your phone, you’ll most likely be turned away if you bring your device to be serviced at an Apple Store. In my opinion, any convenience you may add by uploading unauthorized software and apps is far outweighed by the prospect of having to buy a new iPhone if your current device gets hacked. Beyond that, there’s the potential stress of identity theft, and all the countless hours it will take to change passwords, call banks and credit card companies, and check your credit report. Just don’t jailbreak, ok? 

Virus Protection for Your iPhone: Update iOS

It can be tempting to wait on updating your operating system; it seems like you just got comfortable with the last version! There’s a very good reason to make the switch as soon as possible, though. Operating system updates are a way for Apple to introduce new features and fix bugs, but also to keep security at the highest possible level. When a security breach, or even the possibility of one is detected, Apple programmers get to work tightening up the chinks in your iPhone’s armor. Waiting to switch to the latest version of iOS leaves your iPhone vulnerable to malware, so update as soon as you can, every time.

Apple App Store: Avoid iPhone Viruses from Apps

One of the easiest ways to keep viruses and other malware off of your iPhone is to only purchase apps through the Apple App Store, which you’re limited to anyway if you haven’t jailbroken your device. Apple’s App Store has historically been a secure platform for purchasing approved apps from vetted developers. That being said, there have been cases of apps being removed from the store after they were realized to be clever counterfeits. When an imposter app slips past App Store screeners, it’s not only a copyright issue, but a security one. This is because once a Trojan Horse app is purchased and downloaded, hackers can access your phone in ways you might not have imagined. If your phone is infected with spyware your keystrokes can be logged, your camera and keypad highjacked, and your personal data can be stolen. The point is, even in the Apple App Store you need to keep your wits about you. Before purchasing any app:

  • Make sure the app has a professional feel: the images should be smooth and unpixelated, spelling and grammar should be correct in the descriptions.
  • Check for app reviews, are they positive? Is there a large enough number of reviews to indicate that this is a legitimate app that customers are using successfully?
  • Do you recognize the app developer? Do they have a link for a company website you can follow to see this app as well as their other products?

Trust your intuition—sometimes an app just feels off, or maybe it’s a “too good to be true” situation like a free app that would usually cost at least a few dollars. If you’re still unsure, contact Apple Support with your question, and wait to download the app until your concerns have been addressed. 

Hackers can take the alternate route of infiltrating an app developer’s network to steal information gleaned from app store customers. This is why, beyond making sure that you’re only downloading from trusted app developers, you’ll want to check your privacy settings for each app. Many apps have far more access to your iPhone than they really require to perform the function they’re designed for—turn off permissions for any unnecessary access to your device.

iPhone Malware: Avoid Suspicious Links, Phishing & Robocallers

I think we’ve all had the experience by now: a questionable download in an email from a friend, a robocall that urges prompt action on a past-due account, an email from your insurance company requesting that you follow a link to update your account information. Any of these might be legitimate, or they might be scammers trying to get access to your iPhone or your personal data.

If you’ve received an email or message on social media with a link or download that seems different than your usual conversational style or content with the sender, text or call to make sure your friend is really the one who sent that message before downloading or opening anything. If your friend’s email or social media account has been hacked, it may be sending messages to their contacts without their knowledge in an attempt to spread the virus still further. Similarly, don’t call numbers left in your voicemail, or follow links emailed to you, even if they seem important or official. If your credit card company or bank is trying to contact you, call the number on the back of your card or visit the usual customer service website you’ve used in the past and report the call or email. If it’s a genuine message you’ll be able to deal with the issue through customer service, if it’s a fraudulent message, you’ve saved yourself a lot of trouble!   

iPhone Viruses: Tricky Pop-ups

This falls into the category of suspicious links above, but is so sneaky that an additional warning is warranted. Sometimes a pop-up will appear on your screen that says something really official sounding—it may even appear to be from Apple.! The pop-up is usually a variant of something like this, “Warning! Your iPhone has been compromised by a virus! Scan now!” There’s a button to tap which will supposedly scan your iPhone for the offending virus, when in reality this is a link that will infect your device with malware. If you see something like this come up on your screen, never ever engage with the pop up. Exit the website or app.    

Back up Your iPhone: Keep Your Data Safe 

Just as important as immediately updating to new versions of iOS is getting into the habit of regularly backing up your iPhone. Whether you back up your device with iCloud, iTunes, or both, your photos, contacts, and other important data are preserved. An iCloud backup will be stored in the cloud, and an iTunes backup will save your data on your computer; having both is a double assurance that if your iPhone picks up a virus, or is lost or stolen, you’ll still have access to all the information it contained. Also, you can use your backups to restore your phone if necessary; we’ll get to that in a bit.

Does My iPhone Have a Virus?

So you suspect your iPhone has a virus; it’s been acting a bit strangely lately. Well, maybe it does, but probably it doesn’t! If you’ve followed the steps for virus prevention outlined above: not jailbroken your iPhone, updated iOS as soon as possible, and avoided suspicious apps, links, and downloads ,then it’s unlikely that malware has infected your iPhone. Just in case though, let’s go over your phone’s symptoms to see if a virus is causing the problem.

iPhone Virus: Pop-Ups

If you’re experiencing lots of pop-ups when browsing Safari on your iPhone, that’s not necessarily a symptom of malware. Make sure you’ve blocked pop-ups in your Settings, then see if the problem diminishes. If pop-ups keep, well, popping up with the same frequency, you may have an issue.

iPhone Virus: Apps Crashing

Sometimes apps crash, but that should be a rare occurrence. If one or more of your apps are repeatedly crashing, make sure you’ve updated them all. If a particular app keeps crashing, try deleting and downloading it again. If one or more apps still keep crashing, maybe a virus is at play after all.

iPhone Virus: Data Usage Spikes

It’s a good idea to have at least a general idea of your typical data usage month over month, in the same way that it’s best practice to keep track of your car’s gas mileage. This is because an increase in your data usage can indicate a problem in the same way a dip in your gas mileage can. If your iPhone’s data usage is suddenly spiking it may be an indicator of malware burning through data in the background of your device.

How to Get Rid of a Virus on Your iPhone 

If you’re even marginally convinced that your iPhone has picked up a virus, it’s time to do an iCloud or an iTunes reset. This step will allow your iPhone to start over with factory settings and, hopefully, no malware.  

To reset your iPhone from an iCloud backup:

  • Open Settings.
  • Scroll down to General and tap it.

iphone viruscan iphones get viruses

  • Tap Reset at the bottom of the menu.
  • Tap Erase all Content and Settings.

can my iphone get a virushow to get rid of virus on iphone

Once your content and settings have been erased, you’ll follow these directions to restore your iPhone from your iCloud backup. Make sure to restore with a backup that was made before your iPhone was compromised with malware.

To restore your iPhone from an iTunes backup:

  • Plug your iPhone into your computer using your USB cord. If iTunes doesn’t automatically open when the computer detects your phone, open iTunes.
  • In iTunes, click on your device at the upper left. 

how to get rid of virus on iphone

  • Next, click on Restore iPhone.

how to get rid of virus on iphone

  • Follow the on screen instructions. This will completely erase your iPhone, so make sure you have a recent backup in iTunes.
  • Once your iPhone has been restored, it will start up like a brand new phone. Follow the steps of the set up process. When it’s time to restore from a backup, use a backup of iTunes dated before your suspected virus infected your device.

How to Get Rid of Viruses on Your iPhone: Apple Support

If your iPhone is still showing symptoms of a virus or other malware after you’ve followed the steps above, it’s time to contact Apple Support. If you’ve owned the device for less than a year and haven’t done anything to void your warranty, like jailbreaking, the service may be free. If you’re an Apple Care or Apple Care Plus customer, your iPhone warranty is extended, so it’s always worth checking in at the Genius Bar.

Top image credit: hurricanehank /

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Doctors Can Now Use a Blood Test to Detect Concussions Faster

Brain Trauma

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first-ever blood test that can check for concussions. Called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, this test could help detect brain injuries and intracranial lesions — abnormalities in brain tissue — quicker than current methods like computed tomography (CT) scans.

The new indicator would also reduce the number of people exposed to radiation during CT scans, which look for damaged brain tissue by taking multiple X-rays from different angles to produce an comprehensive image. Incorporating the blood test would eliminate the need for CT scans in one-third of patients with suspected concussions, according to the FDA.

The test measures the levels of two proteins — UCH-L1 and GFPA — that the brain releases into the blood after receiving an injury. These readings serve as a predictor for which patients would have visible intracranial lesions during a CT scan, but without the expensive X-rays involved. In its approval statement, the FDA noted that the test could predict the presence of lesions on a scan 97.5 percent of the time.

Having this kind of test available will be a boon for professional athletes, like NFL football players, who suffer unavoidable collisions with other players. These athletes have to undergo repeated CT scans during their careers, which means quite a bit of exposure to potentially harmful radiation. This new blood test would change that.

But it’s not just the sports world that could benefit from better concussion testing methods. The blood test could serve as a quicker diagnostic tool for soldiers in combat zones. The FDA worked closely with the Department of Defense during the evaluation phase for the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator; the Pentagon financed a 2,000-person clinical trial.

Of course, the risk of sustaining a head injury extends well beyond professional sports and military service. The most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that in 2013, some 2.8 million visits to the emergency room were related to traumatic brain injuries. So an easier, likely cheaper, means of detecting concussions would also impact healthcare costs for the general public.

The post Doctors Can Now Use a Blood Test to Detect Concussions Faster appeared first on Futurism.


Study Shows Apple Watch Can Detect Diabetes with 85% Accuracy

The Apple Watch can detect diabetes in previously diagnosed individuals with up to an 85 percent accuracy rate, according to the results of yet another clinical study related to the wearable.

The study, conducted by health firm Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), used data from 14,000 Apple Watch users. Researchers found that they could accurately detect diabetes in 462 of the participants by using the Apple Watch’s built-in heart rate sensor.

Diabetes is already a huge problem in the U.S., and it’s only getting larger. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 100 million U.S. adults are living with pre-diabetes or diabetes — and many of them go undiagnosed.

Luckily, early detection of diabetes can help in cutting down the severity of other complications associated with the disease.

Diabetes & Heart Rate Sensors

While there have been other attempts to create diabetes-detecting hardware that rely on glucose-sensing, Cardiogram’s latest study seems to corroborate previous findings that indicate that standard heart rate sensors can identify the disease.

In 2015, the Framingham Heart Study found that a person’s resting heart rate and heart rate variability could be used to reliably predict diabetes and hypertension. In fact, this was one of the motivating factors that moved Cardiogram to conduct its own diabetes study with the Apple Watch.

Cardiogram’s co-founders, Brandon Ballinger and Johnson Hsieh, still caution that those participants in the study had already been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. As such, Cardiogram insists that users wait for a diagnosis from their doctors — rather than relying on an Apple Watch to let them know.

Still, the results of the study are promising, and they represent the first large-scale clinical initiative showing that ordinary heart rate sensors can be effective in diabetes detection.

Cardiogram’s Other Initiatives

The study was only a subset of the larger DeepHeart program, which has used Cardiogram’s proprietary deep-learning algorithms to analyze and parse data collected via Apple Watch sensors.

In November of last year, Cardiogram announced that the Apple Watch could accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea. Previously, the health data firm found that the device could also detect abnormal heart rhythms with a 97 percent accuracy.

The health analysis firm has since announced that it’s looking at a number of other diseases to detect through commercial wearables and its own algorithms.

Apple & Health Care

Apple has become increasingly interested in health and wellness in the last few years, and its Apple Watch has been on the forefront of its ambitions in the health sphere.

The flagship Apple wearable has been used in a variety of studies, and in some cases, the Apple Watch has even helped to save lives.

Together with initiatives like ResearchKit, CareKit, and the iOS Health app, Apple is only becoming more focused on healthcare. Just recently, the company has partnered with Stanford to launch its first-ever Apple Heart Study.

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