Medical investigations in the U.S. were able to single out coronavirus patients thanks to heart rate variations
Some smartwatches — such as those made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) — are able to detect possible cases of COVID-19 positivity a few days before the onset of symptoms. This emerged from two separate studies conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) in New York and the researchers of Stanford University in California, respectively.
Heart Rate Variability: The study by ISMMS was carried out on 300 healthcare professionals of the medical school – on which the Apple watch was tested – between April 29 and Sept. 29, 2020. The results show that the device makes it possible to detect possible COVID-19 cases through subtle variations in the heartbeat up to seven days before the onset of symptoms. In particular, heart rate variability, represented by the time interval between one beat and the other, was found to be fundamental to the research. COVID-19-positive individuals exhibited a lower heart rate variation than healthy individuals.
Nervous System Disruption: This is a reverse process to what is observed in medicine. As a matter of fact, a healthy body with a healthy cardiovascular system, under conditions of rest often exhibits an irregular heartbeat and a noticeable variation in heart rate. On the other hand, in individuals suffering from cardiovascular diseases, poor cardiac variation indicates nervous system malfunction.
The Aim Is To Identify Infections: "We already knew that heart rate variability markers changes as inflammation develops in the body and COVID-19 is an incredibly inflammatory event," Rob Hirten, assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told CBS MoneyWatch. "Our goal was to use tools to identify infections at the time of infection or before people knew they were sick," Hirten added.
This article originally appeared on Financialounge.com and was translated from Italian to English. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited. For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España.
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