Wearable sensor can warn of developing COVID-19, even in the absence of symptoms

A medical device, the Oura ring monitors various signals, including continuous temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, and activity. Initial analysis shows that temperature destabilization occurs a couple of days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms. The Oura ring reveals this pattern.

The smart ring, which generates continuous temperature data, could herald COVID-19, even when an infection is not suspected. According to preliminary research by the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, San Diego, a device that may be a better indicator of illness than a thermometer could lead to earlier isolation and testing, curbing the spread of infectious diseases.

By analyzing data from 50 people previously infected with COVID-19, published online in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports for December 2020, the scientists found that data from a commercially available smart ring accurately identified higher temperatures in people with COVID-related symptoms. 19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the authors reported that 38 out of 50 participants had a fever when symptoms were not reported or even not noticed.

It should be noted that the researchers analyzed temperature data over several weeks to determine typical ranges for each of the 50 participants. “Many factors affect body temperature,” says Principal Investigator and Senior Author Ashley Mason, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California and a faculty at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. – A one-point temperature measurement doesn’t make much sense. People sometimes fall into a fever, then come out of it, and a temperature that is clearly elevated for one person cannot be a serious deviation for another. Constant temperature information can better identify fever. ”

For the study, the experts used an Oura ring, a wearable sensor made by Finnish startup Oura, which connects to a mobile app. The ring continuously measures sleep and wakefulness, heart rate and respiration, temperature. Therefore every dimension is extremely important for every person. Other disease-related changes that the rings detect include increased heart rate, decreased heart rate variability, and increased respiration rate, but these changes were not as strongly correlated, the authors noted.

“We hope that our device will help those infected with COVID-19, prepare and isolate faster, as well as call your doctor, notify all people with whom they have come in contact earlier and not spread the virus,” Mason said.

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