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An in-app study has been launched by Fitbit that according to the organization will aid in the early detection of COVID-19 despite users being asymptomatic early in the disease process. It is a type of algorithm that will help in the detection.

People living in either USA or Canada, who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the past or are currently going through it, who are of age 21 years or above and who happens to own the device are all welcome to participate in the study.

The users will be asked to provide their data captured on their device most recently, then the participants will be asked a series of information, all part of the Fitbit application’s Assessments and Reports section. Participants shall be inquired about the symptomatology of their experience with COVID-19 or other flu. Whether those people experienced the said symptoms in the past or are currently going through them. They will also be inquired about their demographics and medical history.

As stated by the company, the owners of the device will be at full liberty to either opt-out of the study at any given time or participate in it and allow the company to have access to their data so that it can be shared publically.

The Importance of the Study

COVID-19 has become a massive burden on society, the global need for large scale testings has left both the people and public health authorities clueless about the actual scale of burden in the communities.

Even though there is no replacement for extensive testings, people at Fitbit still hope that the study of early symptomatology and prolonged collection of vitals data at a large scale of patients suffering from COVID-19 will aid in developing an empirical profile of Corona Virus cases. The early identification of COVID-19 infections early on in the disease process will help individuals in taking the necessary precautions and in self-isolation and seeking help when needed.

The Big Picture

On May 21st, the Fitbit COVID-19 Study was announced. The study will be built upon a priorly declared research alliance with the Stanford Medicine Healthcare Innovation Lab and Scripps Research Translational Institute.

The above-mentioned endeavours will also centre the research on collecting data from wearables in order to detect cases of COVID-19 early on in the disease. However, James Park, CEO Fitbit, mentioned recently that his company will also look into the development of ventilatory technology taking the ongoing pandemic into consideration.

Fitbit launched another heart study a few weeks before the announcement of the recent project. Their heart study is another research being conducted on a huge scale. In this study, researchers will keep eye on heart rates of the users with the help of their technology called photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. The reason for this study is to refine the AFib recognition algorithm for clearance regulation.