Scientists show that smartwatches recognize COVID-19 a week before symptoms appear

Scientists show that smartwatches recognize COVID-19 a week before symptoms appear


Research from New York City Hospital Network Mount Sinai Health System and Stanford University has shown that smartwatches such as the Apple Watch or Fitbit can detect signs of COVID-19 days before noticeable symptoms appear. The source believes this discovery could play an important role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic around the world.

In the course of research activities, experts from Mount Sinai Health System found that the Apple Watch “are able to detect subtle changes in the heartbeat that can signal the presence of a coronavirus in a person, up to seven days before they feel unwell, or the disease will be detected by testing“.

This conclusion was made as a result of observation of 297 study participants for five months. Each of the respondents used a smartwatch that tracked their heart rate. This allowed researchers to observe how the “heart rate variability” indicator changes, which is often associated with the inflammatory process.

Study author Rob Hirten commented on the findings, noting that the work was successful because the researchers “knew that markers of heart rate variability change as inflammation develops in the body, and COVID is an incredibly inflammatory event“. It is noted that with the penetration of coronavirus infection into the human body, heart rate variability decreases, which can signal illness several days before the onset of acute symptoms.

Another study by scientists from Stanford University showed that 81% of people with coronavirus who wore smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Apple and other manufacturers, their resting heart rate began to change 9.5 days before the first symptoms.

Research results suggest that smartwatches can partially fill the gaps left by the lack of coronavirus tests. In addition, such devices monitor the state of the human body continuously, which means that they can promptly signal the appearance of characteristic deviations.

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