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.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Female Uber drivers earn $1.24 per hour less than men: study

Men who drive for Uber earn roughly 7 percent more per hour than women, according to a new study that examined over a million Uber drivers. Women were found to earn $ 1.24 per hour less than men, and also $ 130 less per week on average, in part because they tend to drive fewer hours.

The study, which was released today, was a collaboration between the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Uber’s own economic team. Researchers examined earnings data from over 1.8 million drivers, of which roughly 27 percent were women.

The results are surprising, given that Uber has long argued that its algorithms that determine how much drivers earn are supposed to be blind to things like race, gender, and sexuality. The technology, however, did…

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The Verge – All Posts

Whales and Sharks Are the New Victims of Our Plastic Waste, Study Finds

Plastic Menace

Typically when we think of marine plastic pollution, images of turtles caught in plastic six-pack rings or seabirds choking on floating plastic debris come to mind. But that plastic doesn’t have to be visible to naked eye to have detrimental impacts. A new study found that the smallest plastic particles can affect the largest ocean animals. Researchers from the U.S., Australia, and Italy wrote that some whale and shark species are at risk from microplastic pollution — minuscule particles of plastics that float, unseen, in oceans worldwide.

The study, published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, revealed that marine animals like whale sharks, basking sharks, and other filter-feeders are ingesting tiny plastic particles that can block their ability to absorb nutrients. These particles could have toxic side effects too.

Filter-feeders include baleen whale species, like Humpbacks, Grey whales and Blue whales, that have no teeth. Instead the baleen whales have a keratin-based filter that they use to strain food like krill and plankton out of the water. These animals sometimes imbibe thousands of cubic meters of seawater a day in order to get their fill of plankton. Now, the researchers discovered that while the filter-feeders are filtering out and munching on their plankton meals, they’re also ingesting potentially toxic plastic particles. These microplastics are less than five millimeters long, are about the same size as a plankton snack.

Whale species that have baleen filter in microplastics with seawater. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Baleen whale species, like the Humpback whale, ingest plastic when they filter plankton out of seawater. Image Credit: Wikimedia.

Elitza Germanov, a co-author of the study and researcher at the Marine Megafauna Foundation, told the Guardian, “Despite the growing research on microplastics in the marine environment, there are only a few studies that examine the effects on large filter feeders. We are still trying to understand the magnitude of the issue. It has become clear, though, that microplastic contamination has the potential to further reduce the population numbers of these species, many of which are long-lived and have few offspring throughout their lives.”

Whales At Risk

Whale carcasses have washed up on shores around the world with large pieces of plastic waste in their stomachs, smoking guns in the case against growing plastic pollution. But microplastics are often overlooked. This study shows that large marine animals — already threatened by overfishing — are more at-risk than we thought.

Microplastics can come from a variety of sources. These plastics can be the remnants of larger plastic pieces that degraded over time and broke apart in the water. But they can also come from everyday, household products that contain plastic microbeads, like exfoliating soaps and toothpaste.

Solutions to the growing problem of plastic pollution aren’t as simple as “don’t wash your face with these soaps” or “recycle carefully.” Companies need to phase out products containing plastic microbeads, governments need to find ways to remove microplastics from the water, and groups like the Monterey Bay Aquarium need to continue educating the public about the issue of plastic pollution. Whales and sharks are the pillars of their ecosystems. If these large animals are pushed to extinction, it could irrevocably alter these delicate marine ecosystems.

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