New studies have indicate that smartwatches and other wearable devices can help detect COVID-19 prior to symptoms, as reported by CBS News.
The reports, conducted respectively by Mount Sinai Health System in New York and Stanford University in California, give scientists hope that smartwatches and other fitness wearable devices could help “play a vital role in stemming the pandemic and other communicable diseases.”
Robert P. Hirten, MD, author study said,
“The study analyzed heart rate variability of 297 health care workers between April 29 and September 29. Participants wore Apple Watches equipped with special apps that measured changes in their variability in heart rate (HRV). The watch showed substantial changes in HRV measurements up to seven days before people had a positive nasal swab verifying COVID-19 infection.”
A similar study conducted by Stanford University found that participants wearing a variety of Garmin, Fitbit, Apple and other trackers found that up to nine and a half days before the onset of symptoms, 81 percent of patients testing positive for coronavirus had changes in their resting heart rate.
Researchers were able to identify nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 cases four to seven days prior to symptoms, according to the study.
The team has also set up an alarm system that alerts the wearer that their heart rate has been increased for a sustained period of time.
“Professor Michael Snyder of Stanford University, who led the study, said, “We set an alarm with a certain sensitivity so that it would go off every two months or so. “The alarm will not be triggered by regular fluctuations — only significant, sustained changes will.”