The Corona virus and its carried infection strain, COVID-19, need no introduction in 2020. This disease takes no prisoners and even though people have been miraculously recovering from it at a much faster rate now, mankind is not out of the woods yet.
The task is further complicated with a host of symptoms related to seasonal illness like cough and cold. This horrific onslaught warrants figuring out the validity of wearing a fitness tracker and that of its capability of positively advising the user preemptively.
Consider a simple piece of statistics: a fitness tracker or a fitness smartwatch stays on your writs for around 22 hours a day, seven days a week. It only needs a couple of hours once a week to recharge itself before it again goes its way of collecting about 200,000 measurements in a day related to your health vitals. This sure makes way to understand how we can use one of the central metrics- the heart rate- to decipher if you are doing all good.
Yes but not entirely. A fitness tracker or a fitness smartwatch can precisely quantify every single move that you make and it continues to do so even when you are sleeping. These relate to real-time measurement of heart rate, calories burnt, steps walked, auto-sleep monitoring, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and some other health parameters.
Now herein lies the cue- the heart rate.
The older the fitness band has been there on your wrist, the more accurately it can monitor your health vitals. The heart rate is a unique signature of one’s life and it varies not just on a person-to-person basis, but rather also on a per unit basis time on the same person too.
These smart devices keep a track of the standard range of the heart rates during the day and then compare the same with those of the night to calculate the quality of your sleep. If you are restless in your sleep, your heartbeat would reflect it and so would your fitness tracker.
The Corona virus-borne infectious strain, COVID-19 can easily camouflage its arrival (read: onslaught) with cough and cold, and fever. It is not entirely beyond the limits of human error to mistake the two sets of similar but vastly different illnesses.
Along with heartbeats or heart rate, the next health vital of value is the presence of fever and persistent cough. These two conditions lead to an increase in body temperatures. While this may not be a confirmatory test, it might just offer a crucial lead to the health of an individual.
The next generation of fitness trackers and smartwatches would be based on an accurate measurement of other allied factors that affect our health on a subconscious level. These include sweat evaporation, stress levels, and suchlike. The fitness industry is also confident of seeing a rise in the technology that could quantify the change of pH, glucose, sodium ions, and alcohol content in our body in real-time.
That would be a pretty smart move ahead. However, it would take some time for the research to get going and we would meanwhile have to contend with the ones that offer oxygen monitoring and waterproof capabilities at the most.
Who knows if someday we could be doing a ‘Star Trek’ and analyzing the virus strains for SARS and COVID-19 on the go using something as sophisticated as a plasmonic photothermal biosensor. Such conclusive analysis would be based on a real-time assessment of various RNA and DNA samples of the virus strains.
Suggested read: So, what goes into the making of a premium health band?
Even the most sophisticated fitness tracker and smartwatches today can only go so far as providing you a near-accurate measurement of your health vitals after some usage. They can at best indicate the presence of an anomaly or irregularity in someone’s body vitals and thus offer you a possible leeway into deciding if your health is or could be at risk.
Until then, we recommend you follow all the necessary precautions against COVID-19 as laid forward by your local government. This harrowing infectious strain is not without cure either and it is only a question of time that its vaccine is devised by medical scientists worldwide.
Stay safe and stay positive!
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Sep 23,  2020