Here’s How Smartwatches can Help in The Fight Against COVID-19

Your health data will help medical researchers from around the world study COVID-19 and future pandemics

With the pandemic ravaging through countries and communities around the world, people are turning to technology to help fight the deadly virus. One key component of humanity’s fight against COVID-19 is smartwatches which give key researchers and health professionals fundamental health metrics during the pandemic.

Health metrics like SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and temperature levels serve as indicators for early detection of COVID-19 while monitoring heart rates are essential for early detection of potential heart-related diseases. Exercise and sleep levels also contribute to key roles in strengthening one’s immune system.

Garmin, one of the leading brands when it comes to smartwatches and fitness trackers, helps users monitor their health status including, SpO2 level and heart rate around the clock. The technology features real-time updates and at the same time alerts the user of potential health issues. Garmin is looking to leverage the data that their devices gather to help in the fight against COVID-19. The brand has exclusively partnered with PhysioQ, a non-profit organization that provides research tools to fuel researchers, through the connected health monitoring app Neo.As an app, Neo is a connected system that lets you monitor your own vitals as well as your family members’ remotely. Through the use of Garmin smartwatches synced to the Neo app, users can monitor key health data including SpO2 level, heart rate, and respiration rate of their loved ones in real-time through compatible Garmin devices. The app also notifies users in real-time in case it detects any abnormal changes.

On top of these features, the health data collected from Garmin smartwatches will help medical researchers gather data that can aid in studying COVID-19 and other future pandemics. The tool is free for download and the data donated through an opt-in option will be made available to all researchers, which will be a big help to everyone in understanding pandemics like COVID-19.

The Forerunner 245 Music, one of the many Garmin smartwatches that is compatible with NEO.

“Garmin smartwatches are able to capture real-life data in real-world settings. It is not sanitized or controlled – and for this reason, it can be both challenging and rewarding – for instance, noisy data and inconsistencies in collection methods. Data collected in hospitals is controlled, thus usually cleaner, but also skewed. Most people that are hospitalized for COVID-19 are severe cases. This means our understanding of the disease is dictated by a subset of patients that have severe symptoms. But Garmin’s wearables allow for data collection in many different scenarios, outside the hospital. Wearable technology, in particular, has dramatically transformed our capabilities of addressing research questions,” shared Dr Andrew Ahn, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Users can sign up here and Garmin will award a 10 percent discount on any purchase of PhysioQ-compatible smartwatches on and will provide 5 percent of the sales to PhysioQ’s research on COVID-19.  

“We believe the insights gained from this data from Garmin can change our clinical approach and significantly expedite our disease discovery process. This initiative will not only benefit us today, but will also prepare us for the future,” added Dr. Ahn.

The partnership encourages users to support #YouCanHelp campaign and contribute to the COVID-19 research by donating their health information through NEO. All information will be recorded anonymously in compliance to the Data Privacy Law.

PhysioQ’s Neo App will be available for both Android and iOS and is compatible with the following Garmin products:

vívosmart 4
– vívomove 3
– vívoactive 4
– Venu
– f?nix 5X Plus
f?nix 6 Series
-Forerunner 245/245 Music
Forerunner 945
Approach S62

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