For the first time since its inception, Apple Watch overtook Fitbit in annual sales

For the first time since its April 2014 debut, Apple Watch has managed to overtake Fitbit in terms of annual sales—a major milestone for Apple’s wearable device, especially when you take into account all of the inexpensive fitness bands, watches and tracking device Fitbit is selling…. Read the rest of this post here


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Motiv Ring Review: A Fitbit for your finger

When someone first dropped a Motiv Ring into my hand back at CES 2018, it was so small and light that I thought it was a show-floor dummy. It’s hard to believe there’s any technology inside, let alone an optical heart-rate sensor, a step-counting accelerometer, a Bluetooth radio, and the lithium-ion battery that powers it all.

But the tech is real and so is the Ring, a titanium-clad annulus rated to 5ATM water resistance and available in two colors. Slip it on your finger and the Motiv Ring does much of what you’ve come to expect of a larger fitness wristband: it keeps tabs on your health (awake or asleep) and distills the data into digestible form on a rather beautiful iOS app. The only real downsides: you pay a lot for the privilege, and — for now, anyway — only iPhone users can get in on the fun.

If you’ve always wanted the convenience of a fitness tracker without the bulk of a wristwatch, the Motiv Ring might just be the wearable for you. Click the video above for the full MrMobile review!

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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.

Internet of Business says…

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

The post Fitbit and Apple Watch can help predict diabetes risk, study reveals appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Fitbit to end support for Pebble smartwatches on June 30

Fitbit today has made it clear once and for all that it will end support for Pebble smartwatches on June 30. Fitbit acquired Pebble along with smartwatch team and assets related to their software platform back in 2016. The company will put an end to most of Pebble’s features including App Store, the forum, cloud development tool, voice recognition features, and SMS and email replies. Pebble’s core Apps for iOS and Android will still function for now and the notifications which are a main feature of smartwatches will also work as long as the core apps are functional. As a part of the appreciation, Fitbit is offering $ 50 off on a Fitbit Ionic smartwatch to Pebble users who still own a device with a valid serial number. To redeem the offer, users who have purchased Pebble device prior to December 7, 2016, and opted in to receive Fitbit’s marketing communications, will receive an email with additional details. For users who have purchased after December 2016 need to register here for the Pebble discount updates. Fitbit says that Pebble users can expect the same level of experience they had in 2017 until June 30th, 2018. While the Pebble devices and mobile apps will continue to work after June 30, 2018, Pebble services will end their support …
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