Wearable tech sensors can detect flu and cold symptoms before they appear, according to a study.


Wearable tech has become quite ubiquitous these days for its health-tracking capabilities. But according to one study, they can do far more than that.

According to a study led by biomedical engineering professor Dr. Jessilyn Dunn, a simple smartwatch containing specially designed sensors can, and will, pick up flu or common cold infection before symptoms even appear, writes WebMD.

The study was published in JAMA Network Open.

High Levels Of Accuracy

A total of 36 participants divided into two equal groups participated in the study. One group was injected with the H1N1 flu virus, and the other with rhinovirus.

To help study the detection accuracy of wearable tech, all study participants were wearing the E4 wristband from the company Empatica, which is specifically designed to remotely monitor patient health benchmarks, according to their website.

For this study, the E4 wristband’s job is to measure skin temperature, heart rate, and the participants’ movements.

The H1N1 group was tasked to wear the wristband starting from one day before being infected to 11 days after infection. As for the rhinovirus group, they wore the wristband four days before and five days after being infected.

The results were very promising: H1N1 infections were detected within 12 hours with an accuracy of 79%. On the other hand, the rhinovirus was detected with a sky-high accuracy of 92% within 24 hours.

The study’s results didn’t stop there, as it was also able to prove that it can predict how severe the infection can be.

For the H1N1-infected participants, the severity of the infection was detected with 83% accuracy, while the rhinovirus group showed a 92% accuracy.

Brinkwire News: Smartwatches and Heart Rate Tracking: How Exactly Does The Tech Work?

Making A Case During The Pandemic

Modern smartwatches and other wearable tech have also proven their importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Case in point, various wearable tech sensors can potentially help detect coronavirus symptoms, according to HealthTechMagazine.

Last year, this phenomenon was looked at by Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin as they worked with the Stanford Healthcare Innovation Lab. It was found that the companies’ smartwatches can detect signs of COVID-19 before an official diagnosis in 11 out of 14 patients.

That’s accuracy of over 78%, which is not bad by any means.

Technological Challenges

Of course, there are still a few issues. For one, it’s been found that smartwatches from companies such as Fitbit are struggling to track even. Brinkwire Summary News.


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