Last spring, a Stanford University research study appeared that set out to determine whether Apple Watch sensors could be used to detect signs of COVID-19 even before symptoms have started to appear. And these efforts have been joined by new research that determines that it is possible to detect the coronavirus with the Apple watch and the like.
«Our goal was to use tools to identify infections right at the time of infection, before people knew they were sick. We already knew that markers in heart rate variability change when inflammation develops in the body, and COVID-19 is an incredibly inflammatory event. It allows us to predict that people are infected before they know it«.
Subtle changes in your heartbeat
Devices like Apple Watch, Garmin watches, and Fitbit can predict whether an individual is positive for COVID-19 even before they have symptoms or the virus is detectable by testing. That’s what studies from leading medical and academic institutions like Stanford University and Mount Sinai in New York state.
The system take advantage of sensors capable of measuring our heartbeats and analyze a metric called heart rate variability. It basically measures the variation in time between each beat of our heart, something that indicates how well, or badly, a person’s immune system is working.
According to Rob Hirten, assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, coronavirus sufferers experience a lower rate of heart rate variability. That is, little variation in time between heartbeats, in contrast to COVID-19 negative individuals.
Keep in mind that high heart rate variability does not necessarily imply an elevated heart rate. It only indicates that a person’s nervous system is active, adaptable, and more resistant to stress.
«Right now, we’re confident people say they’re sick and not feeling well, but wearing an Apple Watch doesn’t require any active user input and can identify people who might be asymptomatic. It is a way to better control infectious diseases«.
The Mount Sinai study has been conducted on 300 workers of which 13 tested positive for COVID. The results showed Physiological changes measurable only in the group of workers who tested positive.
For its part, a study by Stanford University found that the 81 percent of the participants who were positive for COVID, more than 5,000 people participated, experienced changes in their heart rates at rest nine days before the onset of any symptoms.
At the moment, these are only studies that have used specific applications to analyze our pulsations in a precise way, but there is no way to download these apps. That is to say, at the moment your Apple Watch could not detect COVID-19, but the door is open to a possible app in the future.
Source: iPadizate by www.ipadizate.es.
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