A study from Mount Sinai researchers found that an Apple Watch could predict a diagnosis of COVID-19 up to a week before testing (via TechCrunch).
Warrior Watch Study
Called the Warrior Watch Study, participants used an Apple Watch and an accompanying iPhone app to monitor and collect health data. Each day the participants had to fill out a survey to give feedback about potential symptoms. Data was collected between April and September 2020 from several hundred participants.
The main data point collected from the Watch was heart rate variability (HRV). This is an important indicator of strain on a person’s nervous system. HRV patterns were revealed to go back to normal approximately one to two weeks after a positive diagnosis.
Most importantly, 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 a administering a nasal swab test, which can help take precautionary measures in high-risk situations when cases are suspected, possibly preventing any spread before someone is highly contagious.
The study’s next goal is to look at other data points like sleep and physical activity and how those have an effect during a COVID-19 infection.