Early information from Fitbit examine signifies it might predict COVID-19 earlier than signs present

Early data from Fitbit study indicates it can predict COVID-19 before symptoms show

Fitbit could possibly detect COVID-19 in sufferers earlier than they begin to really feel signs, primarily based on early findings from the corporate’s “Evaluation of physiological indicators related to COVID-19 measured utilizing wearable gadgets” preprint examine.

The examine consists of preliminary information that has but to be peer reviewed by a medical journal.

With the analysis gathered in its examine, Fitbit hopes to create an algorithm that may detect illnesses corresponding to COVID-19 earlier than signs begin by utilizing physiological indicators corresponding to respiration charge, resting coronary heart charge and coronary heart charge variability.


Findings counsel that Fitbit wearables can detect almost 50% of COVID-19 instances in the future earlier than individuals report the onset of signs, with 70% specificity.

“That is essential as a result of individuals can transmit the virus earlier than they notice they’ve signs or after they don’t have any signs in any respect,” Conor Heneghan, director of analysis and algorithms at Fitbit, wrote in a weblog submit. “If we are able to let individuals know they need to get examined a day earlier than signs start, they will isolate and search care sooner, serving to to cut back the unfold of COVID-19.”

The examine additionally signifies that respiration charge, resting coronary heart charge and coronary heart charge variability can be utilized to detect the onset of sicknesses, particularly when tracked when the consumer is asleep.

Researchers discovered that in lots of instances coronary heart charge variability decreases, whereas resting coronary heart charge and respiration charge improve, in individuals who have signs. In some instances, these measurements might sign modifications in an individual’s well being almost every week earlier than signs had been reported.

Along with detecting early indicators of COVID-19, the researchers additionally examined frequent signs, in addition to severity, period of sickness and the signs probably linked to hospitalization.

The commonest symptom amongst individuals with COVID-19 was fatigue, with 72% of individuals reporting this. Different frequent signs had been headache (65%), physique ache (63%), lower in style and scent (60%), and cough (59%). Solely 55% of individuals with COVID-19 reported having a fever, which signifies that temperature screening alone is probably not sufficient to grasp who may be contaminated, in response to researchers.

Shortness of breath and vomiting had been the signs probably to result in hospitalizations, in response to the info. Sore throat and abdomen issues had been the signs least more likely to predict the necessity for hospitalization.

The period of COVID-19 varies relying on the severity of the case. For instance, those that had a gentle case and who recovered on their very own at residence had a mean period of eight days. These with average instances, who might get better at residence however wanted care from others, had been sick for about 15 days. For extreme instances, like these necessitating hospitalization, the typical period of sickness was 24 days, however the examine noticed a number of instances lasting over two months.


The examine invited Fitbit customers within the U.S. and Canada to take part in a survey of those that had COVID-19 (if they’d been examined) to report the signs they skilled and to offer demographic information corresponding to age, intercourse, physique mass index and related medical background data.

Individuals started enrolling in Might, and the info offered within the preprint examine represents outcomes collected as much as July 14. Greater than 100,000 Fitbit customers have enrolled to date, and have reported 1,000 instances of COVID-19.

Researchers are nonetheless searching for individuals. customers can join the examine within the Fitbit app or on-line.


Fitbit has made different strikes to make use of the health-monitoring capabilities of its wearable to help within the struggle in opposition to COVID-19.

In June, it introduced the Prepared for Work answer, a service comprising a each day well being check-in for workers and an analytics dashboard for his or her employers, each of that are provided via Fitbit Well being Options.

It additionally launched a characteristic for the Fitbit app the place customers can join with a health care provider just about and entry data on exercising indoors.

Fitbit has additionally been actively growing an on-board ECG characteristic for its gadgets. Again in Might, when the corporate launched the Fitbit Coronary heart Research, it confirmed that it has wrapped up a pivotal trial and submitted the characteristic for approval from regulators. Pictures of potential new gadgets circulating within the media additionally counsel the opportunity of new ECG options on upcoming merchandise.


“It’s clear that our our bodies begin to sign impacts from the illness earlier than extra noticeable signs seem,” Heneghan stated within the weblog submit. “With these preliminary indicators recognized, we’ll proceed our work in growing an algorithm to detect illnesses like COVID-19 and deal with expanded analysis in a real-world surroundings.”


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