Apple watch can predict COVID diagnosis

Apple launches study to discover if Apple Watch can detect Covid-19

Tech giant has teamed up with University of Washington and Seattle Flu Study for project

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 15 April 2021 01:54

Apple is launching a study to find out if its Apple Watch can detect Covid-19.

The Silicon Valley giant has partnered with the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study for the project, according to

Its goal is to see if information collected by the Apple Watch and iPhone can detect early signs of respiratory illnesses, such as the coronavirus and flu.

Participants must live in the Seattle area, be aged 22 or older, have an iPhone 6s or above, and be able to take part for six months.

Everyone in the study will be given an Apple Watch to wear day and night, which will collect data about the participant’s health and activity.

They will then answer survey questions in their iPhone’s Apple Research app about their lifestyle and respiratory symptoms each week and month.

If they get sick they will be given an at-home nasal swab to be tested for Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses, and asked to take additional health measures using the Apple Watch.

“Researchers from the Seattle Flu Study and the University of Washington are teaming up with Apple to understand how everyday devices, like an Apple Watch or iPhone, can be used to predict illnesses like Covid-19,” said the university in an advert for the study.

A previous independent study of hundreds of Mount Sinai healthcare workers showed that an Apple Watch can predict the onset of Covid-19 seven days before they are diagnosed, which this study may reinforce.

Changes in the heart rate variability, which is a measure of nervous system function detected by the Apple Watch, were used to identify and predict whether the workers were infected.

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