These Apple Watch Apps Help People With Depression, Predict When Epilepsy Will Strike

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

The Apple Watch isn't just a miniature version of the iPhone anymore. The wearable device's apps can significantly help people with serious health conditions such as depression and epilepsy.

Takeda, a huge pharmaceutical company in Japan and Asia, has partnered with the Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group for an app that monitors people with depression, PR Newswire reported. Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group were the first to join forces for Cognition Kit nearly a year ago to develop a wearable device that tracks people's mental health.

The companies have completed a prototype in April. Thanks to Takeda's involvement, the prototype will now undergo clinical testing that involves 30 adults aged 18 to 65 who are taking antidepressants for their mild to moderate depression.

The Cognition Kit app was incorporated with the Apple Watch, which will help experts "assess psychomotor speed, memory, social cognition, attention and executive function." The app is capable of collecting "real time passive and active high-frequency mental health data" on a regular basis. Doctors will use this information alongside patient-reported assessments.

Depression affected more than one out of 20 Americans 12 years old and beyond in 2009 to 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are more depressed females than males. Almost 10 percent of adults aged between 40 and 59 currently have depression in the country.

Another Apple Watch app, the EpiWatch, found through a study how relevant stress is to epilepsy. EpiWatch does this by recording users' heart rate and movements for 10 minutes.

When the seizure ends, the participants in the study were surveyed about seizure type, aura, loss of awareness and potential seizure causes. Aside from seizures, EpiWatch also tracks users' prescription medication use and drugs' side effects.

Thirty-seven percent of seizures are attributed to stress, while insufficient sleep accounts for 18 percent of incidences. Twelve percent of seizures are due to menstruation and 11 percent are triggered by over-exertion. Fever, infection, diet and lack of medications also trigger seizures, The HealthSite listed.

Research author Gregory Krauss of the Johns Hopkins University said that the study's goal is to "to use wearable technology to predict an oncoming seizure" despite how unpredictable they can be. The research group aims to save lives with the tech and help people with epilepsy feel free.

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