Is this our new reality?
A drip of snot… Could be COVID?
A slight chill… Probably COVID.
A single cough… Yep, COVID!
I’m no hypochondriac, but I spend a lot of time wondering if once-typical bodily ailments are signs of the coronavirus sweeping the planet. Or at least I did before I turned my body into a symptom-tracking Covid-19 computer. For the past three weeks, I’ve checked myself Oura ring, Fitbit, Garmin fitness band, and Apple Watch, along with two high-tech skin patches, all packed with sensors. They’ve sent hundreds of temperature readings, blood oxygen levels, heartbeats—even cough counts—to my phone. All to find out if I have Covid-19. (I don’t. Confirmed with a real fun nasal-swab test.) Tech companies and medical researchers are hard at work figuring out if wearable devices can spot Covid-19, the flu, and other illnesses—even seeing if they can function as a personal early-detection system to contain the virus. They take wearable sensor data from both healthy people and those afflicted by COVID, compare and look for patterns in the data, then create artificial intelligence that could alert others whose own data patterns point to trouble. Results from Fitbit’s Covid-19 study are already showing fluctuations in key metrics, such as heart rate and respiration, days before symptoms. Fitbit Inc. Chief Executive James Park told me the company, which Alphabet Inc.’s Google has agreed to buy, is working toward a system where flagged users could be instructed to quarantine and then, if symptoms appear, confirm with a test.
My thoughts about all of this technology, yes it is great, but since everything is connected to your cellular device, which enables personal location at all times..hmmm are we being tracked?