How Wearable Tech and AI Can Predict Your Health May be Failing

The combination of wearable tech and healthcare has been a successful partnership in assisting individuals with keeping track of one’s vitals throughout the course of the day.  However, researchers are indicating that it is possible to take the monitoring process up to the next level to predicting one’s health is failing.  According to researchers from the University of Waterloo, it may be possible to detect one’s health is failing by applying AI to the correct combination of information retrieved from wearable tech.


Using Healthcare and Technology to Predict Certain Diseases

Recently, an article appeared in Science Daily regarding new research involving AI, wearable tech and healthcare prediction.  According to a study that involved Waterloo’s Faculties of Applied Health Sciences and Engineering, discovered that artificial intelligence which assesses changes with aerobic responses and information obtained from wearable sensors possibly could one day predict if an individual is experiencing the onset of a cardiovascular or respiratory disease.

Thomas Beltrame, who is currently at the Institute of Computing in University of Campinas in Brazil but led the research while at the University of Waterloo, said that the onset of a lot of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has a direct impact on our aerobic fitness.  In the near future, we believe it will be possible to continuously check your health, even before you realize that you need medical help.

What the Study Monitored

The study was based on healthy men whose ages were in their twenties and were monitored for a period of four days.  The monitoring was carried out using sensors that were incorporated within shirts that they wore that registered heart rate, breathing and acceleration.  Readings would then be compared with lab responses and it was discovered that it was possible to predict accurately health related benchmarks throughout activities that occurred during the day through the use of a smart shirt known as a Hexoskin.

Richard Hughson, who is a co-author and kinesiology professor at Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging, said that the research found a way to process biological signals and generate a meaningful single number to track fitness.  Alexander Wong was also a co-author of the study and is the Canada Research Chair in artificial intelligence and medical imaging and an engineering professor at Waterloo.  He said that this multi-disciplinary research is a great example of how artificial intelligence can be a potential game-changer for healthcare by turning data into predictive knowledge to help healthcare professionals better understand an individual’s health.  It can have a significant impact on improving quality of life and well-being.

Looking Toward the Future

Naturally, more research will need to be done in which the team plans on doing.  Moving forward, they plan on testing this system on mixed genders and ages as well as with individuals with health issues to look at how people would possibly wear the sensors to follow a possible failing of their health.  The Hexoskins used in the research are developed by Carre Technologies and the study will appear in the Journal of Applied Physiology.