Apple Watch heart beatSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Stanford University announced a new study in April.
  • They want to see whether devices like Apple Watch can detect infectious diseases.
  • It is now seeking participants for the trial.

A Stanford University study announced in April, which will seek to determine whether wearable tech like Apple Watch, can detect infectious diseases, is now looking for participants.

The study was announced on April 14 this year. From the initial release:

Stanford Medicine researchers and their collaborators, Fitbit and Scripps Research, are launching a new effort that aims to detect early signs of viral infection through data from smartwatches and other wearable devices.

By using wearable devices to measure things such as heart rate and skin temperature, which are known to elevate when the body is fighting off an infection, the team seeks to train a series of algorithms that indicate when your immune system is acting up.

If the algorithms succeed, the team hopes they could help curb the spread of viral infections, such as COVID-19.

Now, as reported by Gizmodo, the study is open and seeking participants:

Right now, Stanford's Wearables Data Study is looking for participants – specifically, people who've had a confirmed or suspected case of covid-19, have been exposed to someone who had or may have had covid-19, or those who are at a higher risk of exposure, like essential workers. Once enough people have opted-in via Stanford's site and their data's been collected, the second phase involves building a personal dashboard that can tell people when they're getting sick. And while the original Stanford study's algorithm was developed using a Basis watch and a few other discontinued devices, this new study aims to be device-agnostic. Fitbits, Apple Watches, and Oura Rings are just some of the wearables included.

Michael Snyder, director of genomics and personalised medicine at Stanford said that nearly 30 million Fitbit users, and millions more Apple Watch users are all privy to "health protectors for infectious diseases like COVID-19. The page for enrolling in the Stanford study notes that it could take up to 2 years, and users will be asked to wear there devices continuously (except for charging obvsiously) over that period. Users will be asked to download an app and fill out a daily symptom survey.

You can see the full enrollment information here. Participants must be 18 or older.