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Smartwatches may detect COVID-19 symptoms

Smartwatches and fitness wearables can play a valuable role in the early detection of COVID-19, according to some recent studies. Researchers from Mount Sinai have found that the Apple Watch can detect small changes in a user's heart rate that may indicate he or she is positive for COVID-19, a whole week before he or she becomes ill. This could help stop the spread of the disease as the asymptomatic ones will be located and quarantined.


In a study entitled "Warrior Watch", Mount Sinai researchers surveyed a group of 297 workers in the field of health care from 29 April to 29 September. Participants wore Apple Watches equipped with specials applications that measure the changes their heart rate (HRV). "The clock showed significant changes in HRV measurements up to seven days before people infected with COVID-19, ”said study author Robert P. Hirten, MD.

A similar study conducted by Stanford University found that participants who wore Trackers from Garmin companies, Fitbit, Apple and others found that 81% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had changes in resting heart rate up to nine days before inception of symptoms.


One of the challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is that many people are asymptomatic, which means that they have no symptoms but are still contagious. This makes it difficult to control the pandemic with the traditional quarantine method.

The implications of the studies are clear. "Developing a way of identifying people who may be sick even before they find out they are infected would be a really important discovery at management of COVID-19 ", said Dr. Hirten. “This technology allows us to not only keep an eye on and to predict health outcomes, but also to intervene in a timely and remote manner, something that is necessary during a pandemic which requires people to keep their distance. "

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