Study reveals Apple Watch as a potential low-cost device for sickle cell patients

A new study revealed how the Apple Watch could predict upcoming pain episodes for patients with Sickle Cell disease.

Northwestern University and Duke University researchers and several more have published a study surrounding the Apple Watch as a prediction device for VOCs, or vaso-occlusive crises. Sickle Cell patients experience VOCs and experience severe pain due to blood vessel constriction caused by sickled red blood cells. VOC is a common symptom and one of the main reasons for patient hospitalization.

Apple Watch

Researchers said that the Apple Watch’s unique machine learning and data collection can play a hand in predicting VOCs and allow patients to get treatment before suffering from severe pain.

The study had Duke University SCD Day Hospital patients with Sickle Cell disease wear Apple Watch Series 3 devices and monitored them from July to September of 2021. Around 15,000 data points were collected and analyzed using machine learning models, with a prediction rate of up to 84.5%.