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Home / Health / Scripps researchers found COVID-19 signal from Fitbits, smartwatch daily activity data

Scripps researchers found COVID-19 signal from Fitbits, smartwatch daily activity data



Researchers hope to find signs of a coronavirus outbreak by building an extensive digital network, thereby building an early warning system that uses data from people’s wearable activity trackers.

Now, preliminary data from a study by the Scripps Research Translational Institute suggests that devices such as smart watches and Fitbits may be able to detect COVID-19 cases and can help the public health sector slow down The rate of spread of the disease.

The DETECT study and its smartphone app launched in March. It collects participants’ daily activity data and matches it with their own reported symptoms and any diagnostic tests that may be performed.

The results of the first six weeks of the study covered more than 30,000 participants and showed that a person̵

7;s normal heart rate, major changes in sleep quality and daily exercise can help pinpoint new infections.

The lead author of the study, Scripps AI Director Giorgio Quer said: “One of the biggest challenges in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is the ability to quickly identify, track and isolate infected individuals.”

Quill said: “The early detection of symptomatic or even asymptomatic people is particularly valuable because people may be more contagious during this period. This is the ultimate goal.” The results of this study were published in Nature Medicine.

Related: Fitbit releases early detection, showing that its tracker can identify COVID-19 cases before the onset of symptoms

These methods can be combined with more common but less effective COVID-19 screening methods, such as temperature readings and asking about a person’s travel history, which may miss asymptomatic cases. The researchers said that in addition, less than one-third of COVID-19 patients recorded fever when they were admitted to the hospital.

Scripps epidemiologist Jennifer Radin said: “Furthermore, “infrequent virus testing and frequently delayed results cannot provide the real-time insights needed to control the spread of the virus”.

In this study, the data model was able to predict who was positive for COVID-19 with about 80% accuracy-usually because they started more sleep and less activity. They say, but this also includes specific deviations from daily patterns, which are more directed towards coronavirus infections than other diseases.

Eric Topol, the founder and founder of Scripps, said: “The exciting thing is that we now have a verified digital signal for COVID-19. The next step is to use it to prevent the spread of new outbreaks.” “About 1 Millions of Americans already have wearable trackers or smart watches that can help us; all we need is a small part, and only 1% or 2% of users can use the app.”

Related: NIH will fund 7 digital health projects for COVID-19

Earlier this year, Fitbit, which collaborated with Scripps’ DETECT research, obtained preliminary results from a similar study of its own algorithm, which has recruited more than 100,000 participants.

At the time, the system provided 70% specificity, or 30% false positive rate, but it could be valuable in prompting people to test earlier and isolate them as soon as possible to avoid the spread of the virus.

The company also showed that its device can detect nearly half of COVID-19 cases at least one day before participants report any symptoms (such as fever, cough, or muscle pain).

This week, Fitbit received nearly $2.5 million in prizes from the US Army’s Medical Research Department to promote the development of the algorithm and possibly use it to screen military personnel for this disease.

“Our research shows that our body has already started to fight the disease before the more obvious symptoms appear, and we believe that Fitbit can reliably detect these signals, thus providing us with an incredible opportunity to stay ahead of this. Amy McDonough, the general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, said.

The award will help to conduct prospective research with Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute of Medicine to help validate early detection programs. Fitbit also said it will work with the FDA and other regulatory agencies to determine the best way to bring these features to the public.


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