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STUDY: Wearable smart devices can help detect COVID-19 before symptoms show

COVID-19 survivor Dr. Tara Scott's Oura Smart Ring detected the virus three days before she tested positive with symptoms.

TYLER, Texas — A handy tool to stop COVID-19’s spread could be on your wrist right now, such as your smartwatch. 

Smartwatches and other similar devices can help detect COVID-19 days before you even show symptoms.

Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Revitalized Medical Group, Dr. Tara Scott tested positive for COVID-19 in October 2020. Her Oura Smart Ring warned her that she might have the virus by tracking her heart rate variability, which is essentially the time period between two heartbeats. 

Cardiologist Payal Kohli explained that tracking this variability is a gamechanger with detecting the virus.

She said, "We know that a marker of health is actually having variable heart rates throughout the day. It's just a marker of how well your nervous system is responding to the environment."

"The first thing that I saw was that my heart rate was up and my body temperature was up. From the ring," Dr. Scott said.

If you have an Apple Watch, click here to know how you can track your Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

Even if you don't have one of these smart devices, you can still keep track of your baseline heart rate.

"You kind of extend your wrist like this and find your pulse," Dr. Kohli said. "And then count how many heartbeats you have in 30 seconds and multiply that times two."

Do this 2-3 times a day, at the same time, for the most accurate results. If you notice a change in your heart rate variability, the first thing you should do is schedule a COVID-19 test and self-isolate. 

The irregularity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the virus but it could, so it’s better to be safe just in case.

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