Mount Sinai researchers have conducted a study that found that an Apple Watch’s Heart Sensors can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before PCR-based nasal swab tests.
The investigation dubbed the “Warrior Watch Study,” used a dedicated Apple Watch and iPhone app and included participants from Mount Sinai staff. It required participants to use the app for health data monitoring and collection, and also asked that they fill out a day survey to provide direct feedback about their potential COVID-19 symptoms and other factors, including stress.
During the course of the study, the research team enlisted “several hundred healthcare workers” to participate, and collected data over several months, between April and September. The primary biometric signal that the study’s authors were watching was heart rate variability (HRV), which is a key indicator of strain on a person’s nervous system. This information was combined with information around reported symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever, aches, dry cough, gastrointestinal issues, and loss of taste and smell, among others.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Data was collected from April through September.
The researchers hope that the results can help anticipate outcomes and remotely isolate individuals from others who are at risk, without having to perform a physical exam or administer a swab test, preventing potential spread before someone is highly contagious.
The ongoing study’s authors note that it can help anticipate outcomes and isolate individuals from others who are at risk. It provides a means for doing so remotely, allowing caregivers to anticipate or detect a COVID-19 case without even doing a physical exam or administering a nasal swab test.