When it comes to health-centric features, the Apple Watch is currently the most feature-rich wearable. Earlier this year, a study conducted by Mount Sinai researchers revealed that the Apple watch can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before current PCR-based nasal swab tests.
Now, another study conducted by Standford University and funded by Apple has revealed that the smartwatch can determine frailty. The watch is equipped with a boatload of sensors that determine a user’s health condition.
For those unfamiliar with frailty, it can be determined using a six-minute walking test which evaluates a user’s exercise capacity and functional mobility. It basically checks the patient’s cardiac, respiratory, neuromuscular, and circulatory functions.
The study conducted consisted of 110 Veteran Affairs patients with cardiovascular disease. The Apple Watch 3 was paired with iPhone 7 and the patients were asked to conduct six-minute exercises at home on a regular basis. The results from the watch were compared to the standard 6MWT in the clinic.
After acquiring ample data, researchers found that Apple Watch was able to accurately determine frailty with a 90 percent sensitivity and 85 percent specificity when supervised in a clinical setting. At the same time, the data collected in the home environment had a sensitivity of 83 percent and the specificity was 60 percent proving that the Apple Watch can be used at home can act as an accurate determination of the in-clinic 6MWT results.
The researchers stated,
In this longitudinal observational study, passive activity data acquired by an iPhone and Apple Watch were an accurate predictor of in-clinic 6MWT performance. This finding suggests that frailty and functional capacity could be monitored and evaluated remotely in patients with cardiovascular disease, enabling safer and higher resolution monitoring of patients.
Cupertino claims that it has added a series of mobility-related health metrics in watchOS 7. This includes the 6MWT. The company keeps adding more features and major health-centric additions to the mix.