Can Wearables Alert Us To Possible COVID-19 Infection?
Testing for COVID-19 is becoming increasingly difficult. This is where wearables come in. They can potentially help us in identifying and giving an early warning. Since the wearables like Fitbits and smartwatches collect all kinds of data, they are a great way of detecting a health issue. The challenge is in making them more accessible for everyone since they are quite expensive. The wearables monitor body temperature which, although cannot indicate COVID-19, could still give an alert to get tested for a possible infection.
pH, sodium ions, glucose and alcohol content are just some of the things that emerging sweat sensors can detect. Tears also contain compounds from the body, so researchers are investigating chemical sensing using contact lenses and smart lenses.
At this point, we don’t have a virus-detecting setup since the wearables would need to have virus-specific RNA to detect the presence of a virus such as SARS-CoV-2. A COVID-19 diagnostic test is in the works which, while this is not a wearable, could become the platform for future wearable innovations. The future wearables are also likely to have something that would be able to detect the presence of the virus in the user’s surroundings. For best results, the product would need to be made using data obtained from a larger group of people, made accessible for everyone.
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