From the start of the pandemic, scientists wondered whether it would be possible to detect the first signs of COVID-19 thanks to the data recorded by the sensors on the connected accessories. And many studies have already been done. For example, Fitbit, a company acquired by Google, has already concluded that its watches can detect COVID-19 to encourage infected people to do a PCR test as soon as possible.
“This is important because people can pass the virus on before they realize they have symptoms or when they don’t have symptoms. If we can let people know that they need to be tested a day before symptoms appear, they can isolate themselves and seek treatment sooner, which will reduce the spread of COVID-19, ”said the watch and connected bracelets specialist . At this point he was still independent as the takeover by Google was not yet complete.
A partnership between Apple and an American university
This week we learn that a similar study is being carried out on the Apple Watch by an American university. We learn of the existence of this study on a recruiting page.
“Researchers from the Seattle Flu Study and the University of Washington are working with Apple to understand how everyday devices like an Apple Watch or an iPhone can predict diseases like COVID-19,” we read on this page.
Researchers are recruiting volunteers aged 22 and over in the greater Seattle area of the United States who use an iPhone. This study will take six months.
The researchers provide participants with an Apple Watch and, in addition to the data recorded by this accessory, are required to regularly fill out a form. “If you get sick during the study, you will be given a free nasal swab at home that can be tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases, and you will be asked to take additional health measures with your Apple Watch. Your data and information (including the fact that you are participating in the study) will be kept confidential and will only be used and disclosed to the extent permitted by the informed consent form, ”explain the researchers.
Apple: focus on health and wellbeing
When the study is complete, these researchers may come to similar conclusions as Fitbit. This could then be used by Apple to promote its product, which is described as a health and wellness accessory rather than a technical device.
Every year the company offers new functions in this area. For example, on the Apple Watch 6, which was introduced in Q2 2020, Apple includes an Sp02 sensor that estimates the level of oxygen in the blood. In addition, the Apple Watch has already saved many lives thanks to the EKG sensor.
Rumor has it that Apple may go further with the next few models by offering a sensor that can measure blood sugar levels using a technique that doesn’t require a blood sample. Other brands would also be interested in this type of sensor, which would be very important for diabetics.