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Making wearables matter: Blood pressure monitoring could be the tipping point

wearables health-monitoring

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#1
starspawn0

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Very hopeful look at the near-future:

https://techcrunch.c...blood-pressure/
 

Today’s wearables are still designed for the healthy and wealthy, not those who could benefit the most. Medical wearables offer the potential to collect health data and improve health via a combination of real-time AI and expert human intervention. Apple’s announcement of FDA clearance of its Watch for screening for irregular heart rhythms was meant to be groundbreaking. But its medical value right now remains limited and controversial. What will make the promise into reality?

I believe the application that will make wearables medically matter is automated blood pressure monitoring.

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The good news is a breakthrough in this space doesn’t seem that far away. Better sensors, algorithms, computing power and battery life are helping companies produce results closer to FDA standards. I expect multiple groups will meet the challenge in the next 18 months.


And he's talking about cuffless monitoring -- so, for example, sensors + algorithms integrated into a smartwatch will very accurately measure blood pressure all day long.

This will open up a lot of new discoveries, also. We'll have a much better grasp on how diet and different types of exercise affect blood pressure. The medial bill savings will be immense.

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People often think "I won't get high blood pressure -- that's for out-of-shape slobs who don't take care of themselves". But, actually, a large percent of people who are in shape still get high blood pressure. According to my doctor, it's highly genetically determined, and will get worse with age. So, if you're < 25, you won't have to worry right away; once you hit 35 years of age, you might start to see a rise, if you are strongly genetically pre-disposed to hypertension, no matter your level of fitness; when you hit 45, then it will get even worse, and will definitely show up during a routine health check -- on until you die. I currently am in my 40s, and don't have hypertension -- but it's probably just a matter of time; maybe when I hit 50 or 55 it will start to show up.

I do know of someone about 45 years of age with really bad hypertension -- so bad it cost him a job. I don't know the person particularly well, but he's my brother's wife's brother. When he was in high school, he was a star quarterback; perfect body, and very handsome. I think he got some football scholarships. Anyways, fast-forward to age 45, and he still looks healthy, though has started to go bald (if you want to see how unfair life can be, and how much can be taken away, you should see a before-and-after photo -- this guy at age 18 versus 45); he still exercises and isn't fat. Yet, he has very high blood pressure. He doesn't want to see a doctor or take medicine for it, apparently. Medicine would easily treat it.
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#2
starspawn0

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This is really fascinating:

Non-Contact Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Estimations from Video Analysis and Machine Learning Modelling Applied to Food Sensory Responses: A Case Study for Chocolate

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC6022164/

Just using video of a person you can predict not only their heart rate, but also their blood pressure; and it's reasonably accurate (strong correlation with other measures).

I knew that it was possible to do this for heart rate, but it's news to me that it works well for blood pressure, too.

Incidentally, Philip Alvelda recently presented work by his company Brainworks on predicting heart rate from video, and he discusses in this article how he wants to include other physiological stats, and meet the FDA's requirements for accuracy:

https://venturebeat....rate-breathing/

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Just think of what you could do, if you could produce an accurate enough system -- and that works for a wide variety of types of video. You could use it to do mass-scale analysis of food, actions, and environment on health: take in millions of videos of people eating, exercising, whatever, and read-out how their vital stats change, just using the video. Then train another model to predict that change just given the first few seconds of the video (e.g. when you eat that chocolate). The predictions should take into account the subject's gender, size, and build.

So... as you sit down to each a piece of pizza, a video of that action could be fed into the machine learned model, and out would pop a prediction for how much it would affect your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc. a few minutes from now. Reading that prediction, you might have second thoughts, and get something healthier to eat.
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#3
tomasth

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Can also be used for crime/terror prevention , with all the street drone satellite cameras.

#4
starspawn0

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Speaking of surveillance cameras: this can also be used to warn people that may not have access to the technology. For example, at an airport such a program could be incorporated into a face recognition system, and if a passenger is spotted that has very high blood pressure, heart rate, or other signs of an impending health crisis, they could be warned. One could even pick them out by name, using face recognition -- a voice on the intercom says, "Passenger John Doe, please report to the American Airlines information desk in terminal 1 for an important message." Once there, they will be told that the computer monitor picked them out as having a high risk for a heart attack or stroke.

The same technology could be incorporated into city cameras. Police could be instantly alerted if someone is in medical danger.

Unfortunately, the police aren't there to do that sort of thing. They are only there to maintain law and order, not actually help people. Their job-description can always be changed, however -- it only takes the political will to do so, and the people have to be behind it. There is a stingy sliver of the population who would never go for it, and who see the police's role strictly in terms of enforcement (and maintaining the prevailing hierarchies -- screw everyone else); but fortunately in most places they don't have much influence on elections (particularly in large liberal cities).
  • Yuli Ban likes this





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