New studies show how Apple Watch can help detect COVID-19 ahead of symptoms and tests

A couple of new studies highlighted by a CBS News report indicate that smartwatches like the Apple Watch may help detect COVID-19 before symptoms appear or a positive test occurs. The studies, undertaken separately by New York’s Mount Sinai Health System and Stanford University in California, are giving experts hope that the Apple Watch will help “play a vital role in stemming the pandemic and other communicable diseases.”

Research conducted from Mount Sinai found that the Apple Watch can detect “subtle changes in an individual’s heartbeat” up to seven days before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test. The study analyzed heart rate variability, or the change over time between heartbeats, and included nearly 300 health care workers who wore Apple Watches between April 29 and September 29.

This is a commonly used measure of the functioning of a person’s immune system, the report explains.

“Our goal was to use tools to identify infections …

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