The Preliminary Findings from the Comprehensive MIPACT Apple Watch Health Research Have Been Made Available

The preliminary findings from the MIPAC study shed light on thousands of individuals’ current state of health. More than 6,500 people participated in the study, each of whom wore an Apple Watch while providing information for the investigation. Now that the first three months of data have been collected, we have completed the preliminary analysis. One should emphasize that these are just the investigation’s preliminary findings. The complete research project, which is being carried out by MIPACT (Michigan Predictive Activity & Clinical Trajectories) in conjunction with Apple, is expected to take place over the course of three years.

The MIPACT Project has Produced Some Preliminary Results

According to what was initially reported in The Lancet Digital Health (through M Health Lab), the data collected over the study’s three months comes from around 6,454 people. There were around 54 percent females and 46 percent males among these people. Diabetes affected approximately ten percent of the individuals, and thirty-five percent of them suffered from hypertension.

The participants wore the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 for an average of close to 16 hours each day. This accounts for the number of days they actually wore the watch, typically nine out of ten. The data that was collected consisted of things like steps and other activities, as well as sleep and other things. The information was coupled with readings of the subject’s blood pressure that were obtained with an Omron Evolv cuff. Both the Apple Watch and the Omron cuff are regarded as exact pieces of wearable technology.

Wearable technology information for varied populations is sparse. The extensive information gathered, and the size of the study’s sample population are the two aspects that set it apart from previous studies with similar aims. This research is more comprehensive because it considers health data from age categories, races, ethnicities, and underlying medical conditions that are underrepresented in the general population. During the course of the study period of three months, they obtained almost 200 million readings of the participants’ heart rates and 1.1 million readings of their blood pressure.

So, What Can We Conclude from this Data?

The average systolic blood pressure was recorded to be 122 mm Hg. In contrast, the average diastolic blood pressure was 77 mm Hg. 15 percent of people had systolic blood pressure readings higher than 140 mm Hg or diastolic readings higher than 90 mm Hg. Either one of these is a sign that someone has hypertension (high blood pressure). Taking everything into account, the average rate at which the heart beats while at rest was 64 times per minute. What position does your heart rate during rest fall into?

The findings, as expected, varied considerably depending on factors such as gender, age, racial background, and ethnicity. The male population has been found to have, on average, greater blood pressure levels. However, resting heart rates were 3 beats per minute higher in female individuals, while walking heart rates were 5 beats per minute higher in female participants. Interestingly, participants over the age of 65 reported having lower resting and moving heart rates.

Individuals of African descent had the most significant heart rates, participants of Asian descent had the median heart rates, and White participants had the lowest heart rates. Activity levels also differed significantly between races. These distinctions constitute a significant finding that may be useful to physicians in performing their duties.

High Number of Steps Taken

The participants in the study walked an average of a little more than 7,500 steps per day, which is roughly equivalent to a distance of six kilometers. This statistic seems a little strange when one considers that the median step number in the United States is significantly lower than that - probably somewhere around half. It would appear that the people who participated in the study’s sample population are more health-conscious than the average individual.

It is not apparent what caused this to happen. Possibly a result of being aware that you are being watched for the purpose of a research study. It’s also possible that this is a result of the way people were enrolled in the study. They had to all have an iPhone in order to be considered for the position, and all of them came from the same academic center in Michigan. This leads one to assume that this is a wealthier and better-educated group than the typical population.

The research also finds, quite predictably, that there is a disparity between the step counts recorded by wearable technology and those reported by cellphones. The latter tend to have an underestimating bias toward the metric.

There Will Be More Results to Come

As was previously noted, these are just the preliminary results. There will be a significant amount of additional data, and medical professionals will work to contextualize the information obtained from wearable devices like the Apple Watch and the Omron cuff with electronic medical records and polling data. It is hoped that the end findings of the study will be significant for developing interventions in the medical field.

“I get questioned by my patients quite often what the statistics from their wearable technology means, and it’s really tricky to know what it means for their long-term wellbeing,” said Jessica Golbus, M.D., a co-investigator of the research and a member of the University of Michigan Health’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

She says that the three-year follow-up phase would be the most illuminating as they strive to correlate the transmission of data from the Apple Watch with data from the participants’ electronic medical records and polling data. This will take place during the course of the study.

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