The Apple Watch may be the most popular smartwatch in the world, but it still lags competitors from Fitbit and Samsung when it comes to sensors. However, a new study from Frontiers in Digital Health (via MyHealthyApple) shows it may not need them.
In a pilot study that followed 33 mostly white female participants, the researchers were able to combine heart rate variability data from the ECG sensor on the Apple Watch Series 6 with machine learning techniques to develop a stress prediction tool. The study found that a 30-second EKG measurement provided instant feedback on their stress levels with an accuracy of 52 percent to 64 percent, compared to 60 percent to 80 percent for “state-of-the-art real-world stress detection accuracy.” “. life settings.”
Those are impressive results based solely on the ECG sensor. Those results would presumably be higher using the new temperature sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple’s own stress algorithms due to the relationship between stress and changes in skin conductance.
In 2020, Fitbit released its new Sense watch, which included a new continuous ElectroDermal Activity (EDA) sensor that tracked tiny electrical changes on your skin to help identify when users were experiencing stress. It was hailed as an advancement over the Apple Watch, which had only just overtaken the Fitbit blood oxygen sensor of five years earlier. Using a dedicated EDA app, users must hold their palms above the screen for at least 2 minutes to get a reading.
The researchers called the results “promising,” though they cautioned that the Apple Watch “lacks the predictive power to accurately predict ‘stress’ states so far.”