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China turns to wearables to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks China turns to wearables to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks
School pupils in Beijing are sporting smart wristbands that track real-time body temperatures. The wristbands are one of a variety of wearables Chinese researchers... China turns to wearables to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks

School pupils in Beijing are sporting smart wristbands that track real-time body temperatures. The wristbands are one of a variety of wearables Chinese researchers say may help to track, curb and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Final year students attending junior high schools in Beijing have returned to class where they are piloting technology that the Beijing Education Commission is hoping will allow them to finish the academic year with relative normality.

The simple, smart wristband tracks real-time body temperatures throughout the day. The data is collected and transferred via Bluetooth to the users’ phones. According to a report by the Beijing Daily, the move to smart temperature monitors is intended to relieve the burden of students being distracted by having to frequently monitor their temperatures, allowing them to prepare for their upcoming exams.

Fitness trackers like the Huami Smart Watch, backed by Chinese Mobitech company Xiaomi, are also playing a role in predicting and planning for the next COVID-19 wave.

Xiaomi researchers say data collected from 1.3 million users across Europe and Asia can create a prediction model that could be used by health authorities to track infectious disease outbreaks.

Researchers compiled three years of Huami user data and juxtaposed averages against the official COVID-19 infection records in Wuhan, thought to be the origin of the outbreak. They found peaks in abnormal data collected from the watches correlated to the city-wide shutdown to within five days.

Across the Pacific, researchers at Stanford University are using Fitbit smartwatches to develop algorithms that show when a user’s body is dealing with any typical infection-like symptoms. Chair of Genetics, Michael Snyder says harnessing data from wearables like Huami and Fitbit could identify infected patients before they are symptomatic.

The Lichtenstein government, meanwhile, has turned to smart bracelets designed to track women’s fertility in its efforts to track the spread of the virus. Government officials, buoyed by the initial success of the unlikely aid, are planning to rollout a second stage in which the entire principality’s population of 38 000 residents will wear the bracelet.

Given recent comments from the World Health Organisation that we may have to live with the COVID-19 pandemic in some capacity indefinitely, tracking methods will remain a priority.

https://www.abacusnews.com/tech/schools-turn-smart-wristbands-monitor-students-body-temperature/article/3083880

https://www.abacusnews.com/tech/can-fitness-trackers-warn-us-about-next-covid-19-attack/article/3083809

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