Even though COVID-19 is characterized by the presence of typical symptoms like cough, cold, fever, an elevation of heart rate can also point out to developing an infection. For the study, researchers measured and recorded daily activity, so they can identify reduced levels of daily activity. Combining these two measures allowed the researchers to better predict who had an influenza-like illness.
Since fitness wearables record heart rate and are able to store data for a longer period of time, they will make for excellent gadgets to track and detect COVID spread, especially in times when proper testing can’t be accessible.
While it’s not possible to define whether a person has COVID just by looking at the parameters observed by the fitness watch, experts believe that it could lead to better awareness about the disease. By knowing who is at risk, or observing a change in health conditions, people can be asked to self-isolate, or better, practice caution when they are outside and get diagnostic tests done.