Apple Watch Series 6
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of the Mac
Can the iPhone and Apple Watch help predict diseases like COVID-19? This is the question researchers at Apple, the Seattle Flu Study, and the University of Washington ask - and you can help answer them. And borrow an Apple Watch for your problems for the duration of the six-month study.
The study is currently recruiting participants who live in the greater Seattle area. Participants must be “at greater than normal risk of respiratory disease because they are often exposed to other people through work or other activities, health conditions or other factors”. If you meet these criteria, have an iPhone 6s or higher, are over 22 years old and would like to participate for up to six months, researchers would like to hear from you
. Study participants are asked to complete a short survey each week using the Apple Research app. You will also get COVID-19 and other acute respiratory illnesses as the study progresses. You will also receive an Apple Watch for the duration of the stud. This must be worn around the clock (or at least anytime it is not charging).
The researchers note:
“The aim of the study is to determine whether the information gathered by the Apple Watch and iPhone can detect early signs of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. If you’re eligible and choose to participate, you’ll be given an Apple Watch to wear. The watch collects information about your health and activity.You will also be asked to answer simple weekly and monthly questions about respiratory problems and lifestyle in the Apple Research app on your iPhone. “
Using the Apple Watch to Track COVID This is not the first time the Apple Watch has been suggested as a possible device for identifying COVID-19 cases. Two studies earlier this year showed that Apple’s smartwatch can be used to detect COVID-19 infections. This could potentially take a week before the wearer feels sick or tests positive. It does this through subtle changes in heart rate that could indicate early infection. So like, the studies suggested that Apple Watch might be useful for identifying asymptomatic people..
Tim Cook previously said he believes Apple’s focus on health could ultimately prove to be its greatest legacy. While there is still a long way to go before people see Apple as the health tech company instead of the iPhone or Mac company, such research could certainly help.
Have you ever participated in an Apple Research study? Let us know in the comments below.