Could your Fitbit or Apple Watch detect early COVID-19 symptoms?

by Larry Emmott on August 3, 2020

in Corona Pandemic,Diagnostics,Internet,Mobile,Telemedicine

From  Reuters:

Fitbit and other wearable devices typically linked to exercise are being studied as ways to identify people who are potentially infected with COVID-19 before symptoms appear, when they can unknowingly spread the disease.

Source: Could your Fitbit or Apple Watch detect early COVID-19 symptoms? – Reuters

The linked article hits many of my hot buttons regarding future tech in medicine and dentistry. It is also up to the second relevant as it provides a potential break through in Covid 19 diagnosis.

it seems that researches could identify people who had contracted Covid 19 based on changes in heart rate before any of the overt symptoms were apparent. Click the link for the details.

Reportedly researches could detect 80% of users who had Covid 19 based on wearable data. What the article does not state is how many false positives were detected. In other words did Fitbit data suggest a person had Covid who in fact did not? In many ways a large percentage of false positives is a bigger problem than the 20% who had it who did not receive the early warning diagnosis from their wearable.

The potential to improve the human condition with this type of technology is awesome. Would it not be fantastic if our health could be constantly monitored by that big data AI in the cloud and potential diseases detected and treated early? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew we had early asymptomatic Covid and we could avoid infecting the rest of the family? Would it not be great if the doctor in sky knew everything about us and could remind (not nag…remind) us to get more sleep, loose a few pounds and skip that extra six pack of Bud?

Okay you see the problem. Who has access to all that extremely personal health information? Is it safe?

RELATED: Garmin a major supplier of GPS and other wearable devices has suffered a MAJOR cyber attack.

 

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