Wearable fitness devices can improve public health efforts to control COVID-19

Examining data from the first six weeks of their landmark DETECT study, a team of scientists from the Scripps Research Translational Institute sees encouraging signs that wearable fitness devices can improve public health efforts to control COVID-19.

The DETECT study, launched on March 25, uses a mobile app to collect smartwatch and activity tracker data from consenting participants, and also gathers their self-reported symptoms and diagnostic test results. Any adult living in the United States is eligible to participate in the study by downloading the research app, MyDataHelps.

In a study that appears today in Nature Medicine, the Scripps Research team reports that wearable devices like Fitbit are capable of identifying cases of COVID-19 by evaluating changes in heart rate, sleep and activity levels, along with self-reported symptom data–and can identify cases with greater success than looking at symptoms alone.

What’s exciting here is that we now have a validated digital signal for COVID-19. The next step is to use this to prevent emerging outbreaks from spreading. Roughly 100 million Americans already have a wearable tracker or smartwatch and can help us; all we need is a tiny fraction of them–just 1 percent or 2 percent–to use the app.”


Eric Topol, MD, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and executive vice president of Scripps Research

With data from the app, researchers can see when participants fall out of their normal range for sleep, activity level or resting heart rate; deviations from individual norms are a sign of viral illness or infection.

But how do they know if the illness causing those changes is COVID-19? To answer that question, the team reviewed data from those who reported developing symptoms and were tested for the novel coronavirus. Knowing the test results enabled them to pinpoint specific changes indicative of COVID-19 versus other illnesses.

“One of the greatest challenges in stopping COVID-19 from spreading is the ability to quickly identify, trace and isolate infected individuals,” says Giorgio Quer, PhD, director of artificial intelligence at Scripps Research Translational Institute and first author of the study. “Early identification of those who are pre-symptomatic or even asymptomatic would be especially valuable, as people may potentially be even more infectious during this period. That’s the ultimate goal.”

For the study, the team used health data from fitness wearables and other devices to identify–with roughly 80% prediction accuracy–whether a person who reported symptoms was likely to have COVID-19. This is a significant improvement from other models that only evaluated self-reported symptoms.

As of June 7, 30,529 individuals had enrolled in the study, with representation from every U.S. state. Of these, 3,811 reported symptoms, 54 tested positive for the coronavirus and 279 tested negative. More sleep and less activity than an individual’s normal levels were significant factors in predicting coronavirus infection.

The predictive model under development in DETECT might someday help public health officials spot coronavirus hotspots early. It also may encourage people

Read more

Fitness Wearable WHOOP Raises $100M From Backers Like Durant, Mahomes on Cheddar

Fitness tech company WHOOP has found fresh new funding. The maker of the fitness tracker that many pro athletes are wearing has raised $100 million in Series E financing. The company is now valued at $1.2 billion. 

Among the professional athletes that invested are NBA star Kevin Durant,  NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Mahomes, and PGA champion Justin Thomas, to name a few. 

WHOOP became a fixture on the PGA Tour back in June. Pro-golfer Nick Watney has credited the device with detecting that he had COVID-19, the first positive case on the Tour. 

The company’s main purpose, though, is fitness. It offers coaching to help people improve their health and the strap monitors sleep, recovery, strain, and more. 

“In particular, we’ve seen value in measuring respiratory rate during this unusual time with COVID-19. So we published a lot of research around how respiratory rate is an important metric to understand,” Will Ahmed, founder and CEO of WHOOP, told Cheddar on Thursday. 

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine earlier this year found that after a year of using WHOOP, members experienced longer and more consistent sleep, decreasing resting heart rate, and meaningful behavior changes. 

The company strives to help users change everyday aspects of their lives, which can mean smoother travel, fewer injuries, and using less alcohol. 

“I think the single biggest thing that WHOOP does that other products don’t do is it gives you actionable feedback to improve behavior,” Ahmed said, adding, “I think most people intuitively would say that their diet affects their body but they wouldn’t necessarily know positively or negatively how so — and that’s where WHOOP steps in.”

Whoop is not alone in this industry. Amazon is in the health tech space with its Halo, Google with its acquisition of Fitbit, and Apple with its smartwatch. While tech companies have come under scrutiny for how they use personal data, Ahmed stated that WHOOP is focused on member privacy.

“Over time, I expect every big tech company to want to play in this space,” Ahmed said. “Our focus on the end-user, our focus on driving behavior change and health benefits, I mean I think that’s really the hardest thing to do in this space. That’s where we are going to win.”

Source Article

Read more

Global Fitness App Market | Increasing Demand for Wearable Devices to Boost the Market Growth

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 27, 2020–

The global fitness app market size is poised to grow by USD 1.68 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 12% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest report by Technavio. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download a Free Sample of REPORT with COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery Analysis.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201027005531/en/

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Fitness App Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

The market is witnessing an increase in the demand for wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart bands, and smart rings that have various features such as calling, messaging, and fitness tracking. These devices can be integrated with fitness apps to provide information on heart rate, exercise cognition, and issue movement reminders. To capitalize on the growing popularity of wearable devices, vendors are expanding their product portfolios by launching products equipped with advanced features such as LTE, music storage, built-in GPS, etc. Some vendors are also offering low-cost wearable products that are specifically designed for children. These factors are increasing the adoption of wearable devices, which in turn will positively influence the fitness app market.


Register for a free trial today and gain instant access to 17,000+ market research reports.


Technavio’s SUBSCRIPTION platform

Report Highlights:

  • The major fitness app market growth came from the lifestyle monitoring segment in 2019.
  • APAC was the largest fitness apps market in 2019, and the region will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. This is attributed to the proliferation of a variety of fitness apps.
  • The global fitness app market is fragmented. adidas AG, ASICS Digital Inc., Azumio Inc., BetterME., FitNow Inc., Google LLC, Nike Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Under Armour Inc., and YAZIO GmbH. are some of the major market participants. To help clients improve their market position, this fitness app market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the market leaders.
  • As the business impact of COVID-19 spreads, the global fitness app market 2020-2024 is expected to have positive growth. As the pandemic spreads in some regions and plateaus in other regions, we revaluate the impact on businesses and update our report forecasts.


Buy 1 Technavio report and get the second for 50% off. Buy 2 Technavio reports and get the third for free.


View market snapshot before purchasing

Proliferation of a Variety of Fitness Apps will be a Key Market Trend

Vendors in the market are introducing various fitness apps for different purposes, workout routines, and exercises. For instance, some vendors are introducing fitness apps specifically for pregnant women, different age groups and gender. These apps enable customers to monitor their health and fitness by analyzing their calorie intake and provide guidance about proper nutrition to help them stay healthy and fit. The

Read more
  • Partner links