Smartwatches may act as early COVID-19 detectors

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It is so frustrating to know that this pandemic could have been the ideal opportunity to make good on a lot of the “save the world” promises of tech. Instead, we we only got to watch helplessly as its worst features were manipulated by the worst actors, tech CEOs included.


Any Android apps that are recommended for this?


Sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I’m not gonna wear one on my wrist.

Just don’t use any drugs, and maybe also don’t drink too much coffee…

It wasn’t until earlier this year when, for the first time, I had both a fitbit and the flu (or cold/Covid/something else) that I finally learned that your resting heart rate goes up when you are infected. I kind of freaked out having my resting heart rate be so high, not realizing that it had probably done the exact same thing in the past but I just never realized it not having had a 24 hour pulse rate monitor before. So I can easily see how smart watch functions could be used to monitor a pandemic, though likely lacking specificity.


That’s exactly it. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was sick from… something. I don’t monitor my temperature so I wasn’t sure if I had a fever (was high normal, but higher than my normal, it turns out) but I do know my heart rate went from my normal high 60’s to high 70’s for those days.


This app is for the Stanford study:


What’s cool about the Stanford paper is that how many drugs or exercise you do doesn’t affect the results; the approach there is to build up a longitudinal baseline of your specific, personalized normal and to identify deviations from that individualized baseline (instead of relying on comparisons to a clumsy statistically average “person”).


so… where is the AppleWatch app?

One person who wrote an HRV watch app said:

Garmin engineers have told me that you will only get reliable HRV data using a Heart Rate Strap and not the optical sensor.

And it was also my understanding that optical heart rate sensors weren’t good for HRV, but I guess in this case they’re good enough. Or is it just the Apple watch sensor that’s good enough and others aren’t?

That’s odd given that many of Garmin’s wrist worn fit trackers use heart rate variability for many of their metrics, including “stress” and sleep scoring. They license the algorithms from another company. Maybe good enough for consumer voodoo but not enough for clinical validation?

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