Apple Watch biometric readings for COVID detection investigated

Research launching in the Seattle area
Apple Watch biometric readings for COVID detection investigated

Apple has partnered with researchers from the University of Washington (UW) to explore how the Apple Watch could help predict respiratory diseases like COVID-19 by monitoring health biometric signals.

The announcement was made by UW Medicine earlier this week, together with a call for participants to collaborate.

The upcoming study will be based on health biometrics and activity data gathered by Apple Watch and iPhone devices and will include survey questions through the Apple Research app about respiratory symptoms and lifestyle.

In order to be considered for the study, potential participants will have to live in the greater Seattle area, be 22 or older, have an Apple iPhone 6s or above, and be able to speak and read English.

Upon confirmation of suitability for the study, they will then receive an Apple Watch to wear both day and night for six months.

In addition, the information page mentions that should the participants get sick during the study, they will be provided with free testing for COVID-19, then asked to take some additional health measurements.

All biometric and personal data will remain confidential and only used and disclosed as permitted by the informed consent form, provided before the beginning of the study.

This is not the first partnership Apple establishes to test the medical capabilities of the Apple Watch.

Last September, the company collaborated with Singapore on a national health initiative using the Apple Watch. Wearable biometrics for COVID-19 detection has also been an active market area, with the FDA granting emergency approval to an armband weeks ago.

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