Research is still in its early stage, but the last several months have seen a number of research efforts to increase the smartwatch’s illness detection capabilities. And it now looks like these tools will likely outlast the present pandemic.
Scripps Research has introduced an app called MyDataHelps as part of a study that tracks changes to a person’s sleep, activity level or resting heart rate. Fitbit is also building an algorithm that can detect COVID-19 before a person experiences symptoms. Meanwhile, Stanford Medicine researchers have developed a smartwatch alert system that can work on any wearable device, including Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin watches.
Michael Snyder, professor and chair of the Department of Genetics and director of Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford University, says watches can pick up signals of respiratory illnesses, even with asymptomatic cases. As COVID-19 hit, Snyder’s research increased “full blast,” he said.
Author(s): Brian T. Horowitz
Publication Date: 6 March 2021
Publication Site: IEEE Spectrum