Apple is collaborating with the Seattle Flu Study and the University Of Washington to determine how reliably an Apple Watch can predict respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. A previous study found that physiological data obtained from wearable devices enabled researchers to detect existing COVID-19 infections.
Participants in the study must be located in Seattle and wear an Apple Watch provided by the study at all times. They’ll also need to fill out surveys in the Apple Research App. The Apple Watch’s heart rate and blood oxygen sensor data will be utilized to identify patterns that could reveal respiratory illnesses. There are also two other Apple Watch health studies for asthma and heart failure.
Learning how to use non-invasive devices such as smartwatches to detect illnesses early could save many lives, as the increasingly ubiquitous devices have a substantial amount of processing power and are worn by users frequently. This could be helpful to the many people who develop illnesses without symptoms, and who develop health issues in-between check-ups. It’s also good for people who would rather not be price-gouged (or contract COVID-19) by going to hospitals more frequently for check-ups.