As we all know, smartwatches, fitness bands, and other wearables detect your body vitals and send this data to your smartphones. However, could this data be used to process and check if your body has any symptoms that may suggest you have the coronavirus?
Will Ahmed, the CEO of WHOOP, which is one of the leading wearable analytics companies in the world, also has a few smart bands. The company says that it measures sleep, recovery, and exercise much better than other companies. The company has observed that a number of WHOOP members are testing positive for COVID-19, and therefore acted by adding COVID-19 tracking in its devices, to get a dataset for testing and analyzing the data. With this data, the company can identify how the symptoms look like before and after COVID-19. This will possibly to identify the exact body vitals, and hence identify even the asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and treat them before it can spread anymore.
After some research, the company believes that the initial results are quite fascinating. WHOOP has partnered with CQU, Central Queensland University, to help them properly analyze this data and refine their research even more than it already is. Describing the band, even more, Will said that there is an extremely small sensor, which checks five metrics 50-100 times a second, and sends this data to the app on your phone.
The vitals measured are the strain on your body, the sleep and its quality, the recovery, heart rate, and its variability. Latest they have started measuring respiratory rate, and people who have COVID-19 are most likely to be identified by this body vital.
2-3 days before the person shows any symptoms, their respiratory rates increase, and this is a conclusion by the company that the person may be affected by the virus. He also mentioned that if you use any other device, then the company sees your resting heart rate and the variability, the quality of your sleep, and other identifiable factors, although the accuracy does fall. COVID-19 has a specific indicator as a respiratory rate, unlike common cold and fever, which have non-specific indicators. We hope that WHOOP can work more on its analytics to possibly come up with a wearable COVID-19 tracker!
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