According to a new research published in the journal JAMA Network Open, wearables like Apple Watch and Fitbit can prove helpful in tracking patients’ recovery from the Covid-19 infection, and provide insight into its long-term effects (via The New York Times).
Over the past year, several studies have suggested that devices that can continually collect data on heart rates, body temperature, physical activity, and more, can help detect early signs of Covid-19 symptoms. Now, it has been found that some people recovering from Covid-19 may have an elevated heart rate for months.
Researchers studying Fitbit data reported that people who tested positive for Covid-19 displayed behavioral and physiological changes, including an elevated heart rate, that could last for weeks or months. These symptoms lasted longer in people with Covid than in those with other respiratory illnesses.
The researchers identified a small subset of people with Covid whose heart rates remained more than five beats per minute above normal one to two months after infection. Nearly 14 percent of those with the disease fell into this category, and their heart rates did not return to normal for more than 133 days, on average.
The study focused on a subset of 875 Fitbit-wearing participants who reported a fever, cough, body aches or other symptoms of a respiratory illness and were tested for Covid-19. Of those, 234 people tested positive for the disease.