Will Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches help detect the early signs of Covid-19? The COVID-Collab research team at King’s College London, the Scripps Research Translational Institute and the Stanford Medicine Healthcare Innovation Lab in the US are recruiting Fitbit owners in multiple studies. The Mass Science app from Kings College monitor wearables devices including Fitbits and aims to match heart rate, sleep and activity data to Covid symptoms.
You need not own a Fitbit device to partake in the study but the app developers believe that the data from these trackers and watches could offer vital insights. The goal is to collect enough data in order to carry out a comparative study between the stats from periods of illness and normal healthy periods. It might eventually lead us to detecting early warning signs of Covid-19 and garnering a better idea of how the disease spreads. This data may even come in handy to track the disease nationally or locally, learn about the most important symptoms, and so on. Researchers are seriously looking into how wearables can become a useful ally in our fight against Covid!
In May, Fitbit launched a COVID-19 Study in May that Fitbit owners could access from within its companion smartphone app. Other wearable makers like Ava tried to make their contribution towards the Covid-19 testing process. The Oura smart ring is part of studies to see whether it can used to detect early signs of the disease. NBA players have been given this smart ring in order to keep track of their vitals, while PGA Tour players and staff have been given a Whoop Strap to help detect Covid symptoms and prevent the spread.