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Smart ring that monitors temperature, could provide an early warning of Covid-19

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 15-12-2020
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Smart ring that monitors temperature, could provide an early warning of Covid-19
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A smart ring that generates continuous temperature data may flag COVID-19 in its very early stages, even in cases when the coronavirus infection is not suspected, a new study says. According to the research, published in the journal Scientific Reports on Monday, the device can be a better illness indicator than a thermometer, and may lead to earlier isolation and testing, curbing the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

In the study, scientists, including those from the University of California San Francisco analysed data from 50 people previously infected with the novel coronavirus and found that data obtained from the smart ring accurately identified higher temperatures in people with symptoms of COVID-19.

While it is currently not known how effectively the smart ring can detect asymptomatic COVID-19, the scientists said for 38 of the 50 participants, fever was identified when symptoms were unreported or even unnoticed. "Many factors impact body temperature. Single-point temperature measurement is not very meaningful," said study co-author Ashley Mason from UCSF.

"People go in and out of fever, and a temperature that is clearly elevated for one person may not be a major aberration for another person. Continual temperature information can better identify fever," Mason explained. While the number of study participants was too small to extrapolate for the whole population, the researchers said they were encouraged that the smart ring detected illness when symptoms were subtle.
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