Studies test wearables as early coronavirus detection tools
Health and Wellness
This smart ring is tracking my heart rate, body temperature and sleep.
Researchers are hoping that my data and that from thousands of others could be used to help detect early signs of COVID-19.
The University of California San Francisco is using this smart ring called aura to capture data from 2000 healthcare workers on the front line who may come into contact with the virus.
The goal of this study is to use data collected by a wearable ring that has biosensors in it.
To develop an algorithm that's able to predict if people are going to experience, only symptoms.
Specifically those that characterize kovan.
Everyday users like me can also be a part of the three months study.
This potentially 150,000 or users around the world that could take part.
Now Oura is sponsoring the research and providing those 2000 rings to the healthcare workers on the front line.
Unlike many other wearables worn on the wrist, the aura ring measures body temperature and other vitals, like heart rate through your finger.
As those arteries go into, the palm of your hand, your skin is extremely thin and translucent, and as a result, those arteries are even very closer to the surface of the skin.
So the actual pulse signal strength About two orders of magnitude stronger than veins on the rest, it's almost 100, 100 times stronger depends on a person everyone's anatomy slightly different than it also turns out the finger is a great place to measure temperature.
You don't see those same temperature changes on the wrist.
And so and that has to probably do both from the arterial density that happens to be in your hand and also your nerve endings because your fingers have so many nerves that as a result like your body, tends to use them as thermal regulators.
So I've been wearing the aura while I.
Sleep, which is when it does the majority of its data collection, although you can use it during the day.
In the morning when I check the app, I'm able to see a sleep score, as well as some other indications on my body temperature overnight, any heart rate variability and the quality of my sleep.
I've also been able to track my symptoms day by day every morning I'm prompted to do the UCSF study within the app.
And then document any symptoms that I might be having, such as a cough or a fever.
But one hypothesis is that we may be able to detect changes in physiology days before someone actually experiences a symptom.
So we wanna see if that's possible.
Because if it is, that could be a really exciting Advance and how we may be contained spread of this virus or get people to get organized to get treatment sooner.
So independent of the UCSF study, the aura ring prompted an otherwise asymptomatic user in Finland to get tested for the virus.
Turns out he tested positive He had recently returned from a vacation in Australia, a hotspot of the outbreak.
It just told me that I had some fever during the night and that was kind of like a surprise because I didn't feel sick.
And I actually measured my temperature with the normal device on got normal normal results.
I think I were very lucky because I actually noticed that they actually took me for the tests because otherwise I would be just living my normal life would invite my mother for the dinner and so on.
So It was very close call.>> Now this smart ring is not the only consumer device that may provide some clues in the fight against covid 19.
A smart thermometer code kinser, has 2 million users in the US and is analysing body temperature readings.
While not directly tracking the spread of cobit 19 if you take it with some other data points it might provide some clues about where cobit 19 is spreading.
A Scripps Research study is also looking at how other wearables from brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple may be able to detect flu like illnesses.
Instead of temperature this study is analyzing resting heart rate as a potential mokka.
But it is still very early days and researchers cannot draw any conclusions from just a few examples.
This is research in progress.
We don't have data yet.
We don't have answers yet.
We really just don't know.
And so it's important to not be premature in our conclusions here.
We really hope to get something interesting from this study that will help us make changes in the future that will keep people safe and keep people healthier, but we just don't know yet.
So we really need to do the science first.
Early detection means that ring whereas can seek treatment and more importantly, be able to isolate themselves, which is, Especially important for doctors and nurses on the frontline.
The symptoms can be really mild and take them seriously if you feel a big deal, stay at home and really self quarantined yourself.>> Researchers are hoping that some of the early detection studies done now we'll be able to save lives when infectious disease specialists Expect the second wave of cobit 19 to hit in the fall.
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