UPDATE 18th June 2020

Data from a wearable device can reveal coronavirus symptoms days before you even realize you’re sick, researchers have found in preliminary studies.

Washington Post – LINK

That means fitness trackers could be on their way to becoming sickness trackers!

Back in March, after I was sick, I mentioned that I was very excited about the announcement of a new study which will use the OURA ring to identify symptoms of the Coronavirus.

More than 2,000 emergency medical workers at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital will wear Oura Rings for the study

Why was I so excited?

Let me go back to what happened at the time. This is nothing new I love trackers and I own an OURA ring, you can read about it in one of my previous post. But, as someone who got sick from COVID-19, I can’t reiterate how vital the information the ring provided me has been. Let me explain:

  • Thursday evening,I started to have a sore throat.
  • I slept badly, could hardly swallow, but assumed this was just a bad throat, which happened to me before.
  • I looked at my OURA ring, and was shocked when I saw a lot of indicidators in red, including a very high body temperature. This was the trigger for me that there was something more to id.
Screenshot OURA app readiness screen on Friday morning

Something was off, my HRV, resting heart rate and temperature were off the charts.

While I had no temperature in the morning, I knew straight away and rang my GP. In the afternoon, I did start to develop temperature and it stayed for 4 days straight.

Now, I was diagnosed with Tonsillitis. Was it bacterial or viral (in which case most likely due to COVID-19), I won’t know. My son happened to be on Antibiotics because of a strep bacteria, that could be it. That said, I wasn’t tested as the Irish Health system was under too much demand and I self-insulated.

What I know, is that I continued to have fever in the evening for 7 straight days. While I slept badly, I wouldn’t have realized it if it wasn’t for the ring. That was an important indicator as I talked to my GP. I had to change antibiotics.

I am fine now. My tracker has given me precious insights while in insulation and enable to physically see a doctor. Body temperature, HRV and resting heart rate are really important insights to how healthy you are, and seeing them getting back to normal reassured me.

I know that trackers can play a bigger part in mainstream health, especially prevention.

Today it is an opportunity to do that, while at a minimum, providing our heroes, health workers on the frontline, to be monitored a little bit more closely.