(Photo : Youtube/ Marques Brownlee) Apple 6 smartwatch COVID-19 detection

Apple stated back in September 2020 that it would launch a study into the use of the Apple Watch and the iPhone as a predictor for COVID-19, and it is now acting on that promise.

Apple Watch on detecting COVID-19

According to AppleInsider, Apple teamed up with the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study in order to accept volunteers for a Seattle area study gauging whether or not the Apple Watch and iPhone can predict respiratory illnesses like the flu and COVID-19.

As reported by MacRumors, each participant will get a study-supplied Apple Watch that they will need to wear 24/7 for as long as six months.

Also Read: Apple Maps to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Hotspots, Airport Travel Guidances, and More!

Everyone involved in the study will have to fill out weekly surveys in the Apple Research app on their iPhone, but those who get sick will both receive an at-home nasal swab test and a request to provide more Apple Watch health data.

Just like with other studies, the information and the participation will remain confidential.

If you wish to participate, you will need to be a Seattle area resident and you need to be 22 years or older with at least an iPhone 6s.

A Mount Sinai study published months ago found that the Apple Watch might detect COVID-19 early by spotting subtle changes to heartbeats up to a week before symptoms appear. A Stanford research further supported this too.

The UW project could corroborate those findings, and it would not be surprising if the data influenced Apple Watch designs going forward.

Smartwatches may detect symptoms early

Earlier this year, CBS reported that smartwatches and other wearable devices that measure the users' heart rates, skin temperature, and other physiological markers can help spot coronavirus infections days before the user is diagnosed.

Devices like the Apple Watch, Garmin, and Fitbit watches can predict whether someone is positive for COVID-19 before they are symptomatic or the virus is detectable by swab tests, according to the studies from Mount Sinai Health System and Stanford University.

This is what Apple is looking into now, aside from providing a travel map for users, the tech giant wants to help point out who are positive with COVID-19 and who aren't.

Experts stated that wearable technology could play an important role in stemming the pandemic and other diseases.

The researchers at Mount Sinai found that the Apple Watch can detect subtle changes in an individual's heartbeat, which can signal that an individual has the coronavirus, up to 7 days before they fall ill or infection is detect through swab testing.

Rob Hirten, the assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said that their goal was to use tools to identify infections at time of infection or before people knew that they were sick.

The study analyzed a metric called heart rate, variability which is also a measure of how well a person's immune system is working.

Hirten stated that they already knew that heart rate variability markers change as soon as inflammation develops in the body, and COVID-19 causes inflammatory symptoms, so the product could be helpful in tracking likely coronavirus patients.

Related Article: Apple Offers Paid Vacation Leaves for Employees COVID-19 Vaccination, Including Those Experiencing Side Effects

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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