Covid-19: can connected watches detect the virus before the first symptoms? : Current Woman The MAG

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, dry cough, loss of taste and smell, and fatigue. We now know that an individual is contagious even before the appearance of these first symptoms, which increases the difficulty of breaking the chain of contamination. But smartwatches could save us precious time. According to two American medical studies, some watches and connected bracelets can detect warning signs of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, starting with variations in heart rate which are an indicator of the disease and precede the onset of symptoms. .

Warning signs up to 9 and a half days before the first symptoms

The first study was conducted for six months, from April to September 2020, at Mount Sinäi Hospital in New York on 300 healthcare professionals equipped with an Apple Watch. Throughout the follow-up period, the heart rate of these individuals was monitored and recognized early signs of coronavirus infection up to one week before the onset of symptoms or a positive PCR test. According to the study authors, the heart rate can be altered by the functioning of the immune system. In the case of Covid-19, the subjects of the study who tested positive for the virus thus saw their heart rate present lower beats with fewer variations.

The second study was carried out by Stanford University in California on 5,000 people wearing Garmin, Fitbit and Apple smart watches and bracelets. Again these devices detected signs of infection up to 9½ days before the first symptoms. The researchers thus identified an increase in the heart rate at rest in 8 out of 10 positive patients in their studies. While these two studies have only been carried out on a limited number of people who are ultimately positive, they nevertheless show that connected watches are far from being gadgets.

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