A pair of new studies highlighted in a CBS News report indicate that smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, help detect COVID-19 before the onset of symptoms or a positive test. In separate studies conducted by the Sinai Health System at Stanford University in New York and Mountain California, experts are optimistic that the Apple Watch could play an important role in overcoming epidemics and other infectious diseases.
Studies conducted by Mount Sinai have shown that the Apple Watch is able to detect “subtle changes in one’s heart rate” up to seven days before the start of COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test. The study analyzed the variability of heart rate variability or the timing of heartbeats, and included about 300 healthcare workers wearing Apple watches between April 29 and September 29.
This is a commonly used measure of how well a person’s immune system works, the report explains.
“Our goal was to use the tools to identify people at the time of infection or before they became infected,” said Rob Hirton, an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahan School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City. Of Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine and author of Warrior Watch. Study.
“We already know that markers of heart rate variability change as inflammation develops in the body, and covid is an incredibly inflammatory phenomenon,” Hirton told CBS Money Watch. “This allows us to predict that people have been infected before they know it.”
“At the moment, we rely on people who are not feeling sick and well, but wearing an Apple Watch does not require any active user input and can identify people who may be infected. It’s a way to better control infectious diseases, ”Hirten said.
Meanwhile, a separate Stanford survey, the results of which were released in November, included activity trackers from Garmin, Fitbit and Apple. Studies have shown that these devices can indicate changes in coronavirus-positive patients’ heart rate at rest “up to nine and a half days before the onset of symptoms.”
Researchers were able to detect about two-thirds of COVID-19 cases four to seven days before symptoms, the study says.
The team has also created an alarm system that warns wearers that their heart rate has been improved for a permanent period.
“We set the alarm with a certain sensitivity so that it goes off every two months or so,” said Michael Snyder, a professor at Stanford University who led the study. “Regular fluctuations will not trigger alarms – only significant, lasting changes.”
He added, “This is a big issue because it warns people not to go out and meet people,” he added. When Snyder’s alarm went off recently, for example, he canceled an in-person meeting in case it could be contagious.
Snyder explained that this type of technology could help solve the flaws of testing techniques. “The problem is you can’t [testing] People always, even though these devices measure you 24/7, ”he explained.
Apple did not fund or participate in any of these studies, unlike other smartwatch and wearable companies such as Oura Health and Hoop.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week unveiled a model that could help Apple Watch and other smartwatches control the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers.
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