Apple begins to investigate if the watch can predict COVID-19

Apple said in September that he would launch a study on the use of Apple Watch as a predictor of COVID-19, and it is now acting on that promise. Appleinsider and MacRumors report that Apple, the University of Washington and the Seattle flu study have started accept volunteers for a Seattle-area study assessing whether or not the watch and iPhone can predict respiratory illnesses like (and including) COVID-19.

Each participant will receive an Apple Watch provided by the study to wear “day and night” for six months. Everyone involved will need to complete weekly surveys in the Apple Research app on their iPhone, but those who fall ill will receive both a home nasal swab test and a request to provide more Apple Watch health data. As with many studies of this type, information and participation will be kept confidential.

If you wish to participate, you will need to be a Seattle area resident 22 years of age or older with at least an iPhone 6s.

A study on Mount Sinai released months ago found that the Apple Watch could detect COVID-19 early by spotting subtle changes in heartbeat up to a week before symptoms appear. Stanford research also supported this. The UW Project could corroborate these findings, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the data influences Apple Watch (or at least WatchOS) designs in the future.

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