Samsung Health Takes Aim at Diabetes Wellness Program

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Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and WellDoc, a leading digital therapeutic company, announced today that Samsung Health users now have access to a new consumer version of WellDoc’s digital platform known as the Diabetes Wellness Program (DWP).

The DWP, which is integrated within the Samsung Health service, is a 12-week health and wellness program developed in collaboration with key partners, including the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). It is designed to help adults with type 2 diabetes achieve a healthy lifestyle and to help manage their condition.

Samsung Health is a personal health service designed to empower individuals to manage their health and fitness. It features a comprehensive platform that displays user activity trends and provides health insights, telehealth services and helpful feedback to connect users, friends and experts all while promoting healthier lifestyles.

“The integration of key, consumer-facing aspects of our proprietary BlueStar® platform within the Samsung Health service is a very exciting next step as our partnership with Samsung continues to advance,” said WellDoc President and CEO Kevin McRaith. “The Diabetes Wellness Program allows individuals in the United States with Samsung Health on the latest Samsung Galaxy mobile phone the opportunity to become educated and empowered to more effectively manage their health and wellness and experience a better quality of life. It’s an invaluable option for the mass population to help manage their health and wellness, and we look forward to making it available outside of the U.S. in the near future.”

Individuals living with type 2 diabetes must pay close attention to their care each day, taking daily medications and/or administering insulin injections, measuring blood glucose levels, and adhering to a strict diet and lifestyle plan.

“Partnering with WellDoc in developing a comprehensive diabetes health and wellness program for Samsung Health users was a natural fit, and an important milestone in our overall chronic disease management strategy,” said Nana Murugesan, Vice President & General Manager, Services & New Business at Samsung Electronics America. “With WellDoc’s unique focus on clinical outcomes and user engagement in the digital health space, the Diabetes Wellness Program will give Samsung Health users an opportunity to effectively manage their chronic condition on the comprehensive platform.”

To sign-up, click here.

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Viral Insulin Discovery Suggests Microbes Could Influence Diabetes

Viral Insulin

Researchers from Boston’s Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered four viruses usually found in fish with the ability to create insulin-like hormones. The discovery of these viral insulin species could suggest that micro-organisms have an impact on the development of diabetes, as well as other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and some cancers.

As Emrah Altindis, PhD, a Joslin research fellow and lead author on the research paper, stated: “Our research may help open up a new field that we might call microbial endocrinology.”

The team used bioinformatics, the study of large research databases containing viral genomic sequences, to search for genetic structures similar to human hormones and regulatory proteins. The research, published in the journal PNAS, then utilized synthesized versions of the viral insulin -like peptides (VILPs) they discovered, and tested their impact on mouse and human cells.

The experiments discovered that the VILPs indeed did act as hormones, and did bind to human insulin receptors, as well as the receptors of a similar hormone known as insulin-like growth factor one (IGF-1). The study confirms these “VILPs are members of the insulin superfamily and first characterized viral hormones.”

A pair of gloved hands testing blood sugar from a patient's hand using a finger-prick testing system. The discovery of viral insulin suggests viruses may have something to do with developing diabetes.
Image credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica A DuVernay

While the viruses discovered do not normally infect humans, the simple act of consuming fish could expose humans to these viruses. Scientists will have to perform more testing to see if the viruses could infect cells or be absorbed through the gut.

The next step for the researchers will be to go back to the databases, to see if they can discover other viruses which can produce human-like hormones.

“This finding is the tip of an iceberg,” says C. Ronald Kahn, the center’s chief academic officer and senior author on the paper, in a press release. “There are thought to be more than 300,000 viruses that can infect or be carried in mammals, and only 7,500 or so of these, or about 2.5%, have been sequenced. Thus, we certainly expect to find many more viral hormones, including more viral insulin, in the future.”

With this new knowledge, scientists can begin asking questions about diabetes and cancer that they never knew to ask. Future developments catalyzed by this research could have profound implications for the understanding and treatment of disease.

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Fitbit and Apple Watch can help predict diabetes risk, study reveals

DeepHeart: Fitbit and Apple Watch can help predict diabetes risk

Smart watches just got smarter, according to a new study of the use of wearables to predict the risk of medical conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

An AI neural network, known as DeepHeart, is the brains behind the breakthrough.

Research from digital heart-rate tracking company Cardiogram has revealed the latent potential in consumer heart rate trackers, such as those found in Fitbit and Apple Watch devices, to detect signs of cardiovascular illnesses. They presented their findings at this week’s AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence in New Orleans.

By analysing the relationship between the heart rate and step counting data recorded by compatible wearables, Cardiogram was able to predict whether the participants had diabetes, with 85 percent accuracy.

Alongside diabetes risk, the research, carried out in partnership with the University of California, sought to train the company’s DeepHeart neural network to predict high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

The study compared two semi-supervised training methods, sequence learning and heuristic pretraining, and successfully demonstrated that these methods can outperform traditional hand-engineered biomarkers.

The DeepHeart neural net

Existing (and widely used) predictive models rely on very small amounts of positive labels (which represents a ‘human life at risk’). However, readily available wearables such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Android Wear devices, benefit from trillions of unlabelled data points – including rich signals such as resting heart rate and heart rate variation, which correlate with many health conditions. As an individual develops diabetes, their heart rate pattern changes, due to the heart’s link with the pancreas, via the autonomic nervous system.

Utilising consumer heart rate trackers offers a rich vein of data with which to train a neural network. This kind of AI thrives on huge quantities of information, as seen in natural language processing algorithms from the likes of Amazon and Google.

The research was not straightforward, however. Tracking company Cardiogram had to overcome several challenges presented by consumer-grade devices, including sensor error, variations in the rate of measurement, and daily activities confusing the data.

The company is now planning to launch new features within its app for iOS and Android, incorporating DeepHeart.

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We’ve touched on the wealth of data that healthcare providers could potentially tap into when it comes to wearables, such as the KardiaBand. This example requires supplementary hardware, however. With DeepHeart’s intelligent use of neural network methods, they have opened the door to healthcare professionals being able to make use of the persistent monitoring capabilities of consumer wearables.

With an estimated 100 million-plus US adults now living with prediabetes or diabetes, many of whom aren’t aware of having the condition, Cardiogram’s study has significant practical implications. This is magnified by the fact that one-in-five Americans own a heart rate sensor today, so the infrastructure is already there to deploy DeepHeart’s technology quickly. With rumours that Apple is considering including a glucose monitor in it’s next smart watch, the scope for using data from consumer wearables is set to grow even further still.

The likely determining factor in adoption will be the rate of deployment. Hospitals are typically slow to adopt new AI technologies because the cost of errors is so high.

A word of warning, too, we’ve already seen the danger of using ‘black box’ AI systems in our finance and justice systems – the dangers of using similarly opaque methods in healthcare are just as acute.

Read more: Police need AI help with surge in evidential data

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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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New Study Suggests Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Can Detect Early Signs of Diabetes

Cardiogram, a company that offers an app able to break down heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch, today shared the results of a new study that suggests the Apple Watch can be used to detect the signs of diabetes.

Cardiogram researchers teamed up with the University of California, San Francisco and used the Cardiogram DeepHeart neural network to determine that heart rate data collected from the Apple Watch was 85 percent accurate at distinguishing between people with diabetes and people without diabetes.

For the study, Cardiogram used more than 200 million sensor measurements from 14,011 participants using an Apple Watch or Android Wear device and the Cardiogram app, aggregating data that included heart rate, step count, and other activity.

Prediabetes is a condition that often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed because traditional methods of detection require glucose-sensing hardware. Detection via the Apple Watch and an AI-based algorithm like Cardiogram’s DeepHeart has the potential to alert users that there’s an issue so they can then follow up with a medical professional.

According to Cardiogram, its study is the first large-scale study that demonstrates how an ordinary heart rate sensor, like the one in the Apple Watch and other devices like the Fitbit, can detect early signs of diabetes. Because the pancreas is connected to the heart through the nervous system, the heart rate variability changes when a person begins experiencing diabetes symptoms.

Over the course of the last year, Cardiogram and UCSF have teamed up to do a lot of research into the potential for wrist-worn heart rate sensors to detect serious health conditions. Previous studies have shown the Apple Watch heart rate sensor’s ability to detect conditions that include hypertension, sleep apnea, and atrial fibrillation.

While there’s still a long way to go before research proves whether the Apple Watch can officially detect early health problems, Cardiogram plans to implement new features to incorporate DeepHeart directly into the Cardiogram app in the future, which will allow users to be alerted if early signs of disease are detected.

Apple has also launched its own study in partnership with Stanford to determine whether the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch can be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms and common heart conditions.

You can sign up to participate in the Apple Heart Study by downloading and installing the Apple Heart Study app and wearing the Apple Watch on a regular basis. If the Apple Watch detects an irregular heart rhythm, you’ll be contacted by researchers and may be asked to wear an ePatch monitor.

You can also participate in Cardiogram’s studies by installing the Cardiogram app and signing up to join the mRhythm study.

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Study shows that the Apple Watch and other wearables can detect diabetes early on

Diabetes Signs Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch may never be able to non-invasively measure a user’s glucose levels, an intriguing and massive new study conducted by the health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco suggests that the device can accurately detect when a wearer has diabetes. The study specifically found that the Apple Watch and other wearables were able to detect the disease in previously diagnosed patients 85% of the time.

All told, the study monitored approximately 14,000 Apple Watch and Android Wear owners over the course of many weeks. As for how the testing was done, the researchers explain that they used an avalanche of health sensor data to train a deep neural network “by presenting it with samples from people with and without diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, atrial fibrillation, and high cholesterol.” Incidentally, Cardiogram calls its AI-based algorithm DeepHeart.

As to how heart rate data is tied into the detection of diabetes, Cardiogram co-founder Johnson Hsieh explains: “Your heart is connected with your pancreas via the autonomic nervous system. As people develop the early stages of diabetes, their pattern of heart rate variability shifts.”

Hsieh further cites a 2015 study wherein researchers discovered that a “high resting heart rate and low heart rate variability” is capable of predicting when individuals are liable to develop diabetes “over a 12-year period.”

The research here is obviously incredibly important, especially as the number of individuals suffering from diabetes continues to grow. As the study notes, more than 100 million individuals in the U.S. alone either suffer from diabetes or are prediabetic.

“1 in 4 of those with diabetes are undiagnosed and, even worse, 88.4% of people with prediabetes don’t realize they have it,” the report further adds.

With these new research results in mind, Hsieh adds that the Cardiogram app for iOS and Android will likely incorporate DeepHeart into subsequent app updates.

Apple – BGR

Apple Watch can detect early signs of diabetes with 85% accuracy, study finds

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Amid rumors that Apple is working on a non-invasive glucose monitoring system for Apple Watch, researchers are using cutting edge software science to prove the heart rate sensors in current-generation wearables can successfully detect early signs of diabetes.
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In a New Study, Researchers Claim They’ve Found a Way to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers from Newcastle and Glasgow Universities believe they have found a way to effectively reverse type 2 diabetes, without requiring a new kind of drug or invasive surgery. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how a person’s body metabolizes sugar, either because they’ve developed resistance to the hormone insulin, or their pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.

It’s long been believed that the condition is manageable, but not curable. According to findings published in the journal The Lancet, however, type 2 diabetes can be reversed through weight loss. More specifically, by reducing the amount of fat being carried in and around the abdomen, as accumulated fat in this region impedes the function of the pancreas.

The study included 298 patients, aged 20 to 65, who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous six years. Half of the patients were put on a low-calorie diet and lost an average of 10 to 15 kg (22 to 33 pounds). The other half of patients, who served as a control group, received the best diabetes management available — but that did not include a weight loss program.

Of the patients who lost weight, more than half saw their diabetes go into remission: 86 percent of the patients who lost more than 15kg, 57 percent who lost 10 to 15 kg, and 34 percent who lost 5 to 10 kg.

Of the patients in the control group who were not on a weight management protocol, only 4 percent saw their diabetes go into remission.

“These findings are very exciting. They could revolutionize the way type 2 diabetes is treated. This builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively,” lead researcher Roy Taylor, from the Newcastle University, told The Guardian. Interesting, indeed, as many of the current treatments for type 2 diabetes involve medication and even surgery to restrict stomach capacity.

“Substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs to return to normal function. What we’re seeing … is that losing weight isn’t just linked to better management of type 2 diabetes: significant weight loss could actually result in lasting remission,” added Taylor, whose team presented the results of the trials at the International Diabetes Federation Congress in Abu Dhabi.

Sometimes, No Advanced Tech is Needed

It’s fairly standard practice for physicians to encourage, if not prescribe, a healthy diet for most of their patients, especially those with type 2 diabetes. But dietary guidance has not traditionally been the focus of treatment for diabetes and similar conditions. “Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments. Diet and lifestyle are touched upon, but diabetes remission by cutting calories is rarely discussed,” Taylor told The Guardian.

The new study showed that a diet of 825–853 calories per day over a period of 3 to 5 months, followed by a gradual reintroduction of food in the next two to eight weeks, could have a profound impact. “Our findings suggest that even if you have had type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible,” University of Glasgow professor Michael Lean, co-lead researcher, explained to The Guardian. “In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimize individual results.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global diabetes cases have increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Those numbers are expected to reach 642 million by 2040. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 to 95 percent of cases in adults.

These findings present a hopeful option not just for improved management of the condition, but a potential cure. One that doesn’t really on expensive medications or invasive surgery, but instead, on improved diet and lifestyle — which could also be beneficial in managing and preventing a number of other chronic conditions which are affected by weight. As Taylor told The Guardian, “The weight loss goals provided by this programme [sic] are achievable for many people. The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain.”

The post In a New Study, Researchers Claim They’ve Found a Way to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes appeared first on Futurism.


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