Friday 17 April 2020
Using technology to help combat the virus. Photo: Pixabay

Health authorities in Germany have developed a new fitness tracking app to collect more data nationwide to help monitor the spread of the COVID-19. The Robert Koch Institute, the federal agency responsible for disease control and prevention, teamed up with healthtech start-up Thryve to develop the app called Corona-Datenspende.

The fitness tracking app works with smartwatches and fitness wristbands including the ones made by companies likes of Apple, Fitbit and Garmin. The type of data collected from this app ranges from blood pressure and heart rate to age and weight.

“Digital applications can usefully supplement the previous measures to contain Covid-19,” said Robert Koch Institute president Lothar Wieler in a statement at the launch of the app. Wieler added that if the data sample was big enough, the team could draw conclusions on how infections are spreading and whether containment measures are working via the fitness tracking app.

Similarly, according to Engadget, the Oura smart ring has teamed up with West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute to help to predict the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare providers. Together with an AI prediction model, the researchers can currently predict symptoms like fever, cough and fatigue 24 hours before their onset.

Tracking 1,000 healthcare professionals, the researchers aim to increase lead time to three days or more, which will hopefully limit the spread of the virus among healthcare workers, patients, family members and the public.

Additionally, the University of California San Francisco has been carrying out a similar study, using Oura rings and an algorithm to track the vitals of 2,000 emergency medical workers. This could help alert healthcare workers to early signs of infection, allowing them self-isolate and help prevent spreading the virus further.

It’s vital that we do our part to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread. While social distancing remains to be the best prevention method, there’s always room for technology to step in and help save lives.

Source: AFP RelaxNews, Engadget