One important way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to identify those people who are infected before they show symptoms. A new study shows that a simple fitness band might help.
Many people who become infected with COVID-19 are able to spread the disease before they start to show the usual symptoms. And some people never show any symptoms at all. Testing can play an important part in identifying who is sick and who is not, but we may also be able to get some help from a simple fitness band. Early results from a study of more than 100,000 Fitbit users has revealed that algorithms are able to identify infected individuals half the time, even the day before they start to show symptoms. And the same data is 70% accurate in spotting those who are not infected. These results are not perfect, but they are enough to help people get tested early if they might have the virus. The study is ongoing, so if you’re a Fitbit user, you volunteer to be a subject through the Assessments and Discover tab in the app.