FitBit has been actively supporting scientists with their COVID-19 detection research using wearables and the company is now encouraging its users to participate, as well. The company promoted two studies in particular from Scripps Research and Stanford Medicine, both of which make use of data from FitBit and other wearables. Both studies also focus on using data from wearable to detect signs of virus infection before the onset of symptoms.
“There has been early evidence that wearables, like Fitbit devices, can help predict the onset of infectious diseases, like the flu and COVID-19. That’s why we are collaborating with leaders like The Scripps Research Institute and Stanford Medicine on important research to see if wearable data can help detect, track, and contain COVID-19,” FitBit explained in a blog post. “By wearing your Fitbit device with heart rate tracking and choosing to share your data, you can help scientists better detect and respond to viral illness outbreaks like COVID-19,” they added.
Both studies are designed to be passive and unobtrusive – users simply need to sign up and consent to sharing their data. However, there are slight differences in the type of participants each study looks for. The Scripps study welcomes anyone to participate simply by downloading the MyDataHelps app for Android and iOS and reporting any unusual symptoms they feel. The Stanford Healthcare Innovation Lab, however, is focused on collecting data from those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or at high-risk of contracting it, such as health care workers – if you are eligible, consider enrolling to share your data for the research.