Apple Launches Study into Whether Apple Watch Can Detect COVID-19

Apple is launching a study into whether the Apple Watch can be used to detect respiratory illnesses such as coronavirus or flu, in partnership with the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study.

apple watch ecg
Apple initially announced the study at its Time Flies event in September last year, it but has only recently launched, as spotted by Apple Insider.

The goal of the study is to see if the information collected by the Apple Watch and iPhone can detect early signs of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. If you are eligible and decide to participate, you will be provided an Apple Watch to wear. The watch will collect information about your health and activity. You will also be asked to answer simple survey questions in the Apple Research app on your iPhone about respiratory symptoms and lifestyle on a weekly and monthly basis.

If you get sick during the study, you will be provided with a free, at-home nasal swab to be tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, and you will be asked to take some additional health measurements using your Apple Watch.

The study is expected to take "up to six months" and participants accepted into the program will be provided with an Apple Watch for research purposes, which they will be expected to wear "throughout the study, both day and night." Enrolment is open now for individuals in the greater Seattle area who are age 22 or older and have an Apple iPhone 6s or newer.

A previous independent study by Mount Sinai researchers found that an Apple Watch can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before current PCR-based nasal swab tests, which may be reinforced by the findings of this new study.

Previous independent Apple Watch studies have shown that the smartwatch's heart sensors may be able to detect early signs of diabetes and provide early warning signs of atrial fibrillation.

Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

ruka.snow Avatar
10 months ago

anything for that dollar!
the flu is getting a virus, and i always knew i got the flu or any virus by that sunken feeling in my congestive track.
a watch is not going to prevent, but scare people.
Early detection of a virus could be very helpful in stopping it from spreading. People could be masking up before they are contagious now, or long into the future. All the social distancing and masking efforts has done a lot to stop covid 19 from spreading and also the seasonal flu had its 'worst' year at trying to spread.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mark and 30 others Avatar
10 months ago

anything for that dollar!
the flu is getting a virus, and i always knew i got the flu or any virus by that sunken feeling in my congestive track.
a watch is not going to prevent, but scare people.
Nowhere in the article did it suggest the watch is going to prevent someone getting the flu.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spacetime Anomaly Avatar
10 months ago
I usually know I’m going to get sick when the sun turns blood red and a crow appears on my bedstead.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hastings101 Avatar
10 months ago
I wouldn’t be surprised, I often notice I have an unusually high heart rate a day or two before I start feeling sick
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sdz Avatar
10 months ago
I always noticed getting sick a few days ahead, when my coffee did not taste good, which is a rare occurrence because i love coffee.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DelayedGratificationGene Avatar
10 months ago

anything for that dollar!
the flu is getting a virus, and i always knew i got the flu or any virus by that sunken feeling in my congestive track.
a watch is not going to prevent, but scare people.
No you’re wrong. It’s not going to scare people. Said the same thing about cardio problems detection and just think how many lives Apple has saved. Why would you not want them to at least try if possible? Is a study to see if can save lives a bad thing sir?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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