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Concerned about COVID-19 and whether you may have it? You already know that it can spread from person-to-person, and you can become infected by coming in contact with someone with the virus — even if they’re asymptomatic. According to the CDC, “symptoms range from mild or no symptoms to severe illness.” The problem, then, is that you may feel fine or think you have allergies or a mild cold, but really you have covid. While COVID-19 testing is available in many areas, it can be hard to get a test.
Fitness Trackers Poised to Be an Exciting New Tool for Tracking COVID-19 Infection
But now a new way of detecting infection in someone is rising: fitness and health trackers. These trackers are a great tool, especially as the asymptomatic phase offers a short period of time (3-5) days where you don’t have any symptoms. The hope is that fitness and health trackers can help out during those times, alerting people to their potential to infect, and also relieving the burden in contact tracing. Now fitness tracker brands are examining their data much more closely to see what we can learn from these popular devices. Here’s the roundup on the best fitness trackers for your health, sleep, and getting a complete picture of your health in hopes of detecting COVID-19.
Oura Ring and COVUD-19 Tracking
The Oura Ring is reportedly the most accurate sleep and activity tracker. Worn on your finger, it tracks your health and activity, creating a complete picture of your health. The Oura Ring is for tracking your body’s pulse, movement, and temperature, then summarizes the data in three scores: Sleep, Readiness, Activity. Readiness is the score that holds the most promise for researchers in covid-19 tracking, because it tracks your body temperature, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and resting heart rate. If you wore your Oura Ring for several weeks, and one day, your device displayed a lower Readiness score, this is likely an indicator that you may have an illness. That’s exactly what the University of California, San Franscisco is studying as they embark on their TemPredict Study.
Why Buy an Oura Ring
The Oura Ring is one of the coolest fitness gadgets out there, and if you’re not a fan of watches, it’s perfect. The slim design is comfortable on your finger, and yet takes a ton of data in for such a small package.
The Oura Ring is constructed of lightweight titanium with a scratch-resistant coating. Sensors are contained within the right, and take your pulse with your finger, where it’s strongest — just like they do in medical facilities. You’ll get 1 week of battery life and it charges wirelessly. In addition to viewing the 3 scores the Oura app offers, you can also track habits, see long-term trends, enjoy a guided meditation, and more. All of this, plus the Oura is water-resistant up to 100m.
Buy the Oura Ring now and take charge of your health with holistic picture that can indicate how you feel — and be a major tool towards the fight in Coronavirus. If you’re at all concerned about your health, and you find that tracking any symptom is harder.
Buy the Oura Ring now
Apple Watch and Coronavirus Detection
The Apple Watch has been around for several years, but it’s still one of the best fitness trackers out there. There are multiple Apple Watch series models, and the newest is Series 5. If you’re concerned about your health and tracking important data, you want to invest in the Series 5 Watch, as it’s the model with all of the features you want. You’ll get the music controls, fun customizable watch faces, and more, but let’s focus on the health value:
Exclusive to the Series 5 is an ECG app so you can track your heart rhythm and gives you your heart rate. It also offers plenty of ways to track your activity, reminding you to move by displaying a series of rings on the screen. You can also monitor your hearing health by getting a Noise alert when decibels around you could impact your hearing. There are workout metrics, GPS, and water resistance to 50 meters.
The newest Watch OS, OS 7 is about to usher in a whole new way to take charge of your health, especially with COVID-19 infections still increasing. The update includes a hand-washing feature to help you reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection. It will automatically detect when you start washing your hands, and then will time how long you actually wash listening the audio of the water, gently reminding you to wash for the full recommended 20 seconds. Your health app will allow show the frequency and duration of your handwashing. This is important, because according to the CDC, populations washing their hands properly can reduce respiratory illnesses in general population by 16-21%. Watch OS 7 will be a public beta, and will arrive later in the fall as a free update for Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4, and Series 5.
There’s also a new sleep app that gives you better data. You’ll get a sleep analysis chart to show how much sleep you’ve got over the week. This data is tracked via the accelerometer that tracks subtle movements that are associated with your breathing when you’re asleep. Amazon currently sells the Apple Watch in GPS and GPS+ Cellular. The built-in cellular lets you do nearly everything with your Watch that you would do with your phone – check email, receive calls, and send texts.
Fitbit and the Study of Early COVID-19 Detection
Fitbit is also making waves in COVID-19 detection, as the Scripps Research Translational Institute and the Stanford Medicine Healthcare Innovation Lab both see if the data can help “detect the early onset of flu and coronavirus.” As part of these partnerships, Fitbit has a new COVID-19 study that you can complete right in the app. People who “have had or currently have COVID-19, or symptoms consistent with the flu” are invited to contribute. The survey includes:
- Whether or not you have, have had, or may have had flu or COVID-19
- Any symptoms you are experiencing or may have experienced
- Additional related details regarding your medical history and demographics
There’s also a Fitbit section in the app with links to book a telehealth, facts from the CDC, and tips on staying healthy. Fitbit has a variety of health trackers, and the most recent release is the Charge 4. The Fitbit Charge 4 offers a holistic picture of your health with 24/7 heart tracking, sleep tracking, and other features. It has the most advanced heart rate sensor in the Fitbit tracker line, tracking all-day calorie burn, real-time heart rate zones, and active zone minutes. With a glance you’ll be able to see exactly your activity rate and how you body reacts to it.
The sleep tracking ability in Fitbit is significant, as it helps you build better bedtime habits with a Sleep Score. The sleep app displays the times you were in light, deep, and REM sleep. You can gain insights and see trends with the complete picture of your daily health.
It must be stated that fitness trackers are in no way intended to be a replacement for medical care, but as you talk with your doctor about any symptoms you’ve experienced, it can be handy to have the tracker data. It’s just another way you can keep an eye on your health and get more activity. So far the most-promising data seems to come from Oura Ring, but Apple Watch and Fitbit are still popular.