An electronic device with a sensor worn on the wrist like a bracelet can – with the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm – “catch” Covid-19 before the first symptoms appear, thus helping to warn the patient in time and at the same time preventing transmission. of coronavirus.
The device belongs to the ever-expanding category of electronic devices (wearable health trackers) that are worn on the body and can through sensors monitor various functions and changes in the body, such as temperature, heart rate, respiration, etc. New study shows that such data, combined with an appropriate artificial intelligence (machine learning) algorithm, can detect Covid-19 infection before it can be detected through symptoms.
Researchers from various universities (Basel in Switzerland, McMaster in Canada, Imperial College London), who published the study in the British medical journal BMJ Open, according to the Guardian, reported that may allow Covid-19 to be detected during the pre-symptomatic period “.
The researchers used the Ava bracelet that was developed to study fertility, showing the best time to conceive a baby. Monitors a number of normal indicators (respiration rate, heart rate, skin temperature, blood flow, etc.). The test, in the case of the Covid-19, was conducted in Liechtenstein on 1,163 people up to the age of 51, who were asked to wear the device at night.
The bracelets were then synchronized with a smart phone app, in which participants recorded any activity that might affect Ava’s readings, such as alcohol consumption, drug use, etc. In addition, they all had regular Covid-19 antibody tests or molecular tests. . Eventually, Covid-19 disease was confirmed in 127 people.
It was found that thanks to the combination of data from the bracelet and their analysis by a computer algorithm, two out of three (68%) who had been infected with coronavirus were correctly and timely identified, about two days before the onset of the first symptoms. Typically the typical symptoms of Covid-19 take a few days after infection to appear, during which time the unsuspecting carrier can infect others.
According to the researchers, “Wearable sensor technology is an easy-to-use and low-cost method that can allow people to monitor their health during a pandemic. Research shows how these devices, in conjunction with artificial intelligence, can “expand the boundaries of personalized medicine and detect disease before symptoms occur, thus reducing the likelihood of transmission within communities.”
The new technology is already being tested on a much larger group of around 20,000 people in the Netherlands and results are expected later this year.