King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches | Seattle Weekly


Photo via Pexels

Photo via Pexels

UW study to find out if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections like COVID-19 and flu.

Your Apple Watch can help you keep track of time.

University of Washington researchers are looking for King County residents to participate in a respiratory health study using data from Apple Watches. The study examines whether and how an Apple Watch can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections such as COVID-19 and flu, according to UW Medicine’s Brotman Baty Institute.

This interface between health and technology to study how Apple Watch detects physiological changes will be the first of its kindwhich allows researchers to relate related symptoms, signals from Apple Watch and iPhone; and test results for COVID-19.

The six-month study specifically focuses on people of color and frontline workers living in cities in King County, prioritizing participants who may be at increased risk for respiratory disease because of frequent exposure to others through work, health, or other factors and activities.

people selected to participate in the study will receive test kits and an Apple Watch to wear at home. Heart rate and blood oxygen information, as well as other health and activity data, are collected for researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine.There are no costs for the participants.

To participate in the study, individuals must wear their Apple Watch and complete weekly and monthly surveys on the Apple Research app on disease symptoms, recreation and lifestyle. Participants must also provide self-collected nasal swabs to test for germs (viruses and bacteria), including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

reminders like hand washing are used through the Apple Watch to learn how behavioral interventions like this can prevent the likelihood of developing viral infections.

The results of these tests can help identify the spread of the virus and bacteria in the community. Data will also help researchers better understandsuch as heart rate, sleep, activity, and other data collected are related to symptoms of infection and may help others in the future.

To ensure the privacy of the participants, data is stored in systems with strict security controls to protect the data. Additionally, data that could directly identify participants is not accessible to Apple.

The Apple Respiratory Study team consists of researchers from the University of Washington Medical School, the Brotman Baty Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in collaboration with the Seattle Flu Study and Apple. For more information on the Apple Respiratory Study, visit

. If you want to take part in the study,complete the screening questionnaire to determine eligibility. If you have any further questions, you can email or call 206-221-4416.