Wearable Devices to Predict Illness, Including COVID-19
Coronavirus testing numbers are improving in the United States, but not at a rate where testing is available to anyone, at any time. Individuals are directed to testing centers because they are actively showing symptoms, because they have a known exposure, or because they work as a first responder. However, a study led by Michael Snyder, MD, PhD, chair of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, aims to revolutionize the way we look at infectious-disease prevention and control, by tapping the potential of technology to keep individuals healthy rather than treating them after they become ill. Snyder and his research collaborators are exploring the possibility that wearable devices can detect early signs of viral infection without a diagnostic exam, measuring the skin temperature and heart-rate levels that elevate when the body combats an infection. If effective, this capability could be key in pre-diagnostic measures towards COVID-19 testing and management.
Collaborating with Fitbit and Scripps Research, Stanford Medicine has been working on research aimed at using Fitbit data to help detect, track, and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19 through a research consortium. The consortium brings together separate research already underway by both Stanford and Scripps to promote sharing of aggregated information, learning, and development. Fitbit is also helping promote those studies to increase enrollment.
For the past decade, Snyder has been using longitudinal methods to track measures on the human body for their potential to predict and prevent diseases. His ground-breaking research aims to make these preventive measures more accessible to the public, which could ultimately have a huge impact in helping curb the spread of viral infections, such as COVID-19.
For more details, visit Stanford Medicine: @stanford.med – med.stanford.edu & Fitbit: @fitbit – www.fitbit.com & Scripps Research: @scrippsresearch – www.scripps.edu