A recent study called “Warrior Watch” revealed that smartwatches can detect COVID-19 before symptoms develop.
According to the study conducted by Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Apple Watch is capable of detecting minor changes to a user’s heartbeat showing that they’ve been infected with coronavirus up to a week before the visible symptoms are developed.
The study analyzed the heart rate variability (HRV), which indicates the variation in time between each heartbeat and measures the capacity of an individual's immune system. The people who participated in the study wore Apple Watches with special apps for measuring their HRV changes.
The author of the study, Dr. Robert Hirten, told CBS that his team already knew that "heart rate variability markers change as inflammation develops in the body," which "allows us to predict that people are infected before they know it."
According to another study by Stanford University, 81% of the participants infected with coronavirus wearing various smartwatches such as Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, etc., were aware of their HRV irregularity up to nine days before developing major symptoms.
Nonetheless, one of the most challenging aspects related to the global pandemic has been identifying people infected with coronavirus who were asymptomatic. The studies involving such individuals have shown that commonplace consumer technology could be of great help for handling the pandemic by letting people find early signs of the disease.
According to Dr. Hirten, “This technology allows us not only to track and predict health outcomes but also to intervene in a timely and remote manner, which is essential during a pandemic that requires people to stay apart.”
Currently, the NeuTigers company is working on a custom wearable capable of the early detection of Covid-19.