Stanford University is trying to turn wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit health watch, into a "weapon" to combat COVID-19. In particular, the Health Innovation Laboratory of Stanford Medical School began the study "Coronavirus Wearables" earlier this year, to investigate whether wearable devices, such as those of Apple and Fitbit, could be used for detection people with COVID-19 before they even start to have symptoms. Of course, there are people who are infected with the virus but have no symptoms.
The study will ask participants to provide data from their wearables, such as heart rate and skin temperature, through a application created by Stanford's bioinformatics team. It is a system that currently works with Apple Watch, Garmin and Fitbit devices, among others. Future participants should also regularly complete a symptom checklist and can optionally share information about their medical records. archives. Anyone wishing to participate in the study should either be diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a high risk of contracting the virus. For example, those working in the healthcare sector or those who have recently traveled by ship or plane are more likely to have contracted the virus. Participants must also be over 18 years of age and be aware that the study will take two years.
This isn't the first time Stanford has tried to look at them possibilities of portable devices to improve health. In 2017, the university launched a study with Apple to see if it Watch could detect atrial fibrillation or examine the heart condition to see if it could lead to strokes or heart attacks.
The current study, which is a collaboration between Stanford School of Medicine, Scripps Research and Fitbit, will use data collected by wearables, in an effort to create algorithms that can detect changes in one's body, which may be an indication of an upcoming infection. Once the signs of infection have been detected (eg, increased heart rate at rest), the wearable user device it will be notified through the application that it can get sick, and therefore can be isolated before the virus spreads.
The study also looks at whether data from wearable devices can provide more data and not just evidence of a possible infection. For example, the study looks at whether such a device could show if some people may have a more serious reaction to the infection. The first official results of the study are expected to be published in the coming weeks. Once the system is ready for production, the team hopes to release it with an open source license.
There are other possible uses of this technology that may require study. For example, in people who may have difficulty speaking when they are ill (very young children or people with dementia), monitoring health using wearable devices could give the caregivers a valuable idea of whether their guesses are correct. or incorrect. THE technology It could also be combined with detection applications to identify individuals who may have been exposed to asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Technology companies are working to make their products more useful in monitoring suspected COVID-19 infections. In particular, Apple and the Google announced a joint effort for COVID-19, which aims to help public authorities and health organizations create applications to monitor and locate people who may have been exposed to the virus. The report notification box will allow users iPhone and Android record the people they came in contact with and notify them if these people are then diagnosed with the virus. Apple is working with Watch to help fight COVID-19. In the WWDC, the company announced that the next Watch OS will be able to detect when users wash their hands, setting a timer for 20 seconds, which is the recommended time to prevent the virus from spreading, and will also vibrate to inform users when their handwashing time expires.