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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.jpg

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.

Article Link: Apple Launches Study into Whether Apple Watch Can Detect COVID-19
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
1,886
5,170
Scotland
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.
 

DelayedGratificationGene

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2020
514
1,254
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?
 

joecomo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
625
812
sounds cool - might be specifically valuable in studying patterns over larger groups of people to monitor outbreaks or waves of diseases (unfortunately in Germany these things will take time as we have a fetish-like obsession with Data-protection)
 

steevn

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2016
258
708
I don't know how anyone could think a watch would prevent anything, except maybe being late. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Why would you think it’s not possible or worth looking into though? There will be advances in the future that will make things like this a reality.

Although not similar to what this article is talking about, the Apple Watch has prevented death or bad outcomes with its fall detection, location tracking, and ECG monitor. Technically it has already prevented some things from happening.
 

DJP5

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2021
7
14
i should have type "detect"( i miss my editor!)
my point is that we do not need a watch to tell us we have a virus, there are too many viruses out there that have many effects on the human body.
Specific detection of COVID-19 at an early stage that results in an infected person staying indoors will prevent spread - including spreading it to emergency, key workers and vulnerable people - saving lives
 

T Coma

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2015
578
1,038
Flyover Country, USA
Amazing technology!

Maybe one day they will develop a way to somehow “sync music” or even new apps on a kid’s watch that is linked to the parent’s phone. It isn’t even an option now, but why would it be? That’s like sci-fi level fantasy there!
 
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DJP5

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2021
7
14
Amazing technology!

Maybe one day they will develop a way to somehow “sync music” or even new apps on a kid’s watch that is linked to the parent’s phone. It isn’t even an option now, but why would it be? That’s like sci-fi level fantasy there!
I think you can link as a family and share apps, you can listen to music from an iPhone on two AirPod or just play it on a smart speaker.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
6,667
6,125
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?

A study is fine. What matters for wider adoption, though, is the accuracy - both in terms of "false negatives" and "false positives". False negatives is obvious - false sense of security, people ignoring other symptoms, an excuse not to wear a mask, risky behaviour, thinking you don't need a vaccine, etc. False positives can drive extra demand for medical services and regular testing facilities, at a time when those are stretched. Its fine to say "...one life saved makes it all worthwhile" - but it is easy to focus on the anecdotal "my watch saved my life" evidence and miss the less prominent, indirect, larger scale effects. If a flood of false positives from a new watch-based early warning caused an surge in demand of confirmatory lab tests and, say, increased the average turn-around time of those tests by 24 hours, the consequences could outweigh the benefits...

This is already an issue with the DIY, instant-result lateral flow tests being used in the UK - the 'false positive' rate is pretty close to the actual infection rate in many parts of the country... it's not that they're not potentially useful, you just have to be very careful how you interpret them (and they're very, very dependent on a fast and reliable lab-based test service to back them up).

People could be masking up before they are contagious now, or long into the future.

...that's actually the problem, because the converse of that is "my watch says I'm clean so I don't need to mask up or avoid risky situations". Just. Wear. A. Flippin'. Mask (unless you have a genuine medical excuse).
 
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