Smartwatches to predict when you're getting ill

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Feeling rundown? Your smartwatch could help detect those early symptoms...
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Smartwatches to predict when you're getting ill

Heart rate, skin temperature, appetite - It’s those tell-tale signs we look out for when we’re feeling a little under the weather. But trying to suss out whether you’re getting sick could be a thing of past according to new smartwatch technology which is currently in development.

A team of researchers led by Stanford’s Michael Snyder published the results of a long-term experiment last month, which looked into whether wrist-based gadgets could detect and even monitor disease.

The Experiment

Approximately forty-three people took part in a two-year experiment, which consisted of a series of different measurements taken on a regular basis. Those measurements were then tied in with events like sleep trouble, travel, sickness etc.

The Results

One test determined that during air travel, people tended to have lower blood oxygen levels, resulting in tiredness and fatigue. Other tests were even able to track signs of onset Lyme disease, as well as sensitivity to insulin.

The Research

Although they’ve made amazing headway, the team still have a way to go in creating algorithms that monitor health reliably.

They recently had this to say in a paper published in PLOS Biology:

“Overall, these results indicate that portable biosensors provide useful information for monitoring personal activities and physiology, and are likely to play an important role in managing health and enabling affordable health care access to groups traditionally limited by socioeconomic class or remote geography”.

Smartwatches of the future

This means your smartwatch could predict you getting sick hours or even days before in the not so distant future. And although it may not offer a full diagnosis, it’ll will warn you that readings are outside the norm.

So who knows, in a couple of years your smartwatch might order you to get a good night’s sleep if it detects a cold on the horizon.

Got any comments or questions? Let us know in the comments below.

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