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Fitbits detect permanent changes after Covid-19 – News

When the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States surged and tests were scarce last spring, some scientists wondered if a new approach to disease surveillance was on the wrists of Americans. It was.

1 in 5 Americans Use Fitbit, Apple Watch, or any other wearable fitness tracker. And for the past year Some studies Proposed That device Continuous collection of data on heart rate, temperature, physical activity, etc. — May help detect early signs of Covid-19 symptoms.

Currently, studies show that these wearables also help track patient recovery from illness, Its long-term impact..

To Paper published on Wednesday Researchers studying Fitbit data at the journal JAMA Network Open found that people who tested positive for Covid-19 could last weeks to months, including increased heart rate, behavioral and physiology. Reported that it showed a change. Scientists have found that these symptoms lasted longer in people with Covid than in people with other respiratory illnesses.

“This is an interesting study and I think it’s important,” said Dr. Robert Harten, a gastroenterologist and wearable expert at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who was not involved in the new job. “Wearable devices provide the ability to monitor people inconspicuously for a long period of time and see them in an objective way. How did the virus actually affect people?”

Result is Digital engagement and tracking for early management and treatment (DETECT) A study conducted by scientists at the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California. From March 25, 2020 to January 24, 2021, more than 37,000 people enrolled in the study.

Participants downloaded MyDataHelps We researched the app and agreed to share data from Fitbit, Apple Watch, or other wearable devices. We also used the app to report symptoms of the disease and the results of the Covid-19 test.

During October Reported by the same researcher Nature Medicine states that the combination of wearable data and self-reported symptoms can detect cases of Covid-19 more accurately than analyzing the symptoms alone.

However, the data that researchers perceive can also help track what happened to people after the worst illness had passed.People recovering from Covid reported Widespread and lasting health effectsThese include fatigue, “brain fog”, shortness of breath, headache, depression, palpitation, and chest pain. (These protracted effects are often known as Long covid.. )

The new study focuses on a subset of 875 Fitbit-wearing participants who reported symptoms of fever, cough, body pain, or other respiratory illness and were tested for Covid-19. I have. Of these, 234 tested positive for the disease. The rest were presumed to be other types of infections.

Participants in both groups had more sleep and less walking after getting sick, and their resting heart rate increased. However, these changes were more pronounced in the Covid-19 people. “There was a much greater change in the resting heart rate of individuals with Covid compared to other viral infections,” said Jennifer Radin, an epidemiologist at Scripps, who leads the DETECT trial. “We also have far more dramatic changes in steps and sleep.”

Scientists also found that heart rate dropped about nine days after Covid participants first began reporting symptoms. After this dip, which was not seen in other sick people, their heart rate rose again and remained elevated for several months. It took an average of 79 days for the resting heart rate to return to normal, compared to just 4 days for the non-Covid group.

This long-term increase in heart rate may indicate that Covid-19 is disrupting the autonomic nervous system, which regulates basic physiologic processes. Heart palpitations and dizziness reported by many who are recovering from Covid can be a symptomatology of this confusion.

“Many people who get Covid have autonomic dysfunction and a kind of ongoing inflammation, which may adversely affect their body’s ability to regulate their pulse,” Dr. Ladin said. Told.

Dr. Ladin and her colleagues also found that levels of sleep and physical activity also returned to baseline more slowly in patients with Covid-19 than in patients with other illnesses.

Researchers have identified a small subset of Covid patients whose heart rate remains above normal by more than 5 beats per minute 1-2 months after infection. Approximately 14% of patients with this disease fall into this category, with an average of more than 133 days of abnormal heart rate.

These participants were also significantly more likely to report coughing, shortness of breath, and body pain during the acute phase of the illness than other Covid patients.

One limitation of this study was that participants did not require them to continue reporting symptoms for weeks and months after they first became ill. However, scientists plan to ask volunteers to do so in future research.

“We want to do a better job of collecting long-term symptoms, so we can compare the physiological changes we see with the symptoms that participants are actually experiencing.” Dr. Ladin said. “So this is really a preliminary study and will open up many other studies in the future.”

In February, the National Institutes of Health announced what it would do. Offering $ 1.15 billion Over the next four years, we will fund a long Covid study. The new study highlights the role that wearables may play in that study. Dr. Harten said: We are moving forward with people. “

Fitbits detect permanent changes after Covid-19

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