Earlier this year, it was reported that based on studies done, it was discovered that devices like the Apple Watch could actually detect COVID-19 in the user before swab tests are done. While it probably wouldn’t replace current RTK/PCR COVID-19 tests, it might still be useful as it means that treatment and isolation can start earlier to prevent the spread.

Now according to a new study reported by the New York Times, it has been found that devices like the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and more could also be used to detect long-term COVID-19 effects. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, was conducted from March 25, 2020 until January 24, 2021 by researchers at the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California.

Now, since those who participated in the study were confirmed to have COVID-19, the study wasn’t about detecting the disease in them, but rather it was about finding out what kind of long-term effects there might be that doctors might not know about. Based on what they found, they discovered that those who were infected saw heart rates drop at the start, but later rose to elevated levels where it took about 79 days before it went back to normal resting levels.

According to Dr. Jennifer Radin, an epidemiologist at Scripps, “We want to kind of do a better job of collecting long-term symptoms so we can compare the physiological changes that we’re seeing with symptoms that participants are actually experiencing. So this is really a preliminary study that opens up many other studies down the road.”

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