Just because vaccines for the ongoing COVID-19 are slowly rolling out around the world doesn’t mean we’re in the clear yet. Methods to determine whether someone has the virus are still very necessary and no one likes all that… poking a long stick up your nose method. Thus, Apple has begun testing whether its smartwatch (the Apple Watch, in case you were confused) can effectively detect COVID-19. Which is certainly above and beyond the functionality of most other smartwatches… if the tests actually work.
Apple actually promised to begin this study back in September and most people thought it was silly. Yet the company is persevering with the study which is kicking off in Seattle in the very near future. The study is a collaborative effort between Apple, the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study and will test whether the Watch (and the iPhone, to a lesser extent) can detect signs of the coronavirus.
Watch out for the virus
Technically, the study is actually much broader than just COVID-19. The study is aimed to test for any respiratory issues. The actual process of figuring this out sounds both fairly simple but also highly annoying. Participants will be provided with a Watch which they’ll have to keep strapped to their wrists for up to six months. Weekly surveys will be conducted and folks that get sick will need to undergo one of those oh-so-fun nasal swabs and be prompted to share extra health data as obtained via the Apple Watch.
Beyond being in Seattle, you’ll also need to have lived in the area for 22 years and have at least an iPhone 6S. We imagine that the living in Seattle part will rule out most of you anyway.