‘We’re racing against the clock’: Researchers test wearables as an early warning system for Covid-19

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Researchers at two prominent California universities launched ambitious new studies this week to test whether wearables can serve as a sort of early-warning system for parts of the country not yet flooded with coronavirus cases.

University of California, San Francisco, researchers are exploring whether an algorithm fed with data from Oura smart rings can catch upticks in temperature or heart rate that might signal that a health care worker had been infected with the virus. In San Diego, Scripps Research Translational Institute scientists are recruiting people with virtually any kind of wearable — from Apple Watches to Fitbits — to try and predict regional clusters of the virus using data on heart rate, temperature, and activity and sleep levels.