Can your Garmin wearable detect the COVID-19 virus? Stanford University researchers are hoping to find out.
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The teaching and research institution is recruiting wearable tech owners interested in participating in its Wearables Data Study. Those with an Apple Watch, Fitbits and Garmins can participate, as long as their device has a heart rate sensor.
The study aims to find out whether wearable tech data can be used to predict the onset of COVID-19 before actual symptoms are noticeable. For example, previous studies have shown that specific patterns of heart rate variation can indicate illness.
Developing algorithms capable of spotting the onset of the disease before overt signs are evident is important. Even if individuals do not develop the full-blown illness, it’s been proven such persons can transfer COVID-19 to others.
Owners of Garmin devices with a heart rate monitor are eligible to participate in the study. However, not everyone will be accepted.
In order to qualify you must have or are suspected of having COVID-19. Alternatively you must have been exposed to someone who already has the disease. You could also qualify if you are at a higher risk of exposure. This last one could be because you are a healthcare worker, delivery person, work in a grocery store and similar. Researchers say in time they will let others join, as well.
In addition to heart rate data, researchers will assess activity, blood oxygen saturation, sleep and other physiological metrics. Participants will be required to fill out a short questionnaire every day via a special app they will have on their smartphone. The study will last up to 24 months.
If you’d like to help Stanford researchers find out whether Garmin wearables can detect the coronavirus, you can apply on this link. This is definitely a worthwhile initiative that might help stem the current and future pandemics.
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