Your Apple Watch can tell whether you have COVID-19 symptoms: Study

Researchers at the Mount Sinai hospital have found that the Apple Watch that you wear can help detect COVID-19 symptoms and can identify such cases earlier than traditional diagnostic methods. It can also help track and improve management of the deadly disease.

The study has revealed that subtle changes in the user’s heart rate variability (HRV) measured by the Apple Watch was able to signal the onset of COVID-19 up to seven days before the individual was diagnosed with the disease via nasal swab. It was also able to identify those who have symptoms.

Researchers at the facility said that developing a way to identify people who might be sick even before they know they are infected would be a breakthrough in the management of COVID-19.

How does this system work on Apple Watch?

Some of the people who enrolled for this research were healthcare workers throughout Mount Sinai Health System and its an online digital study that had been conducted between April-September 2020.

The participants wore Apple Watches and answered daily questions through a customised app.

The changes in their heart rate were used to identify whether these workers were infected with the virus or had symptoms. Apart from that, other symptom’s data that was collected included fever and chills, body aches, weakness, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, headache among others.

Researchers at the facility also found that 7 to 14 days after the diagnosis with COVID-19, the heart rate pattern began to normalise and was not much different from the ones that weren’t infected.

“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,” said the study’s co-author Zahi Fayad, Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

-with inputs from IANS.

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