Apple Watch can predict COVID-19 a week before PCR test

Researchers at the Mount Sinai Center in New York came to unexpected conclusions. Thanks to the Apple Watch, COVID-19 can be predicted a week before a positive PCR test. TechCrunch reported, and the study is published in the journal Journal of Medical Internet Research.

How was the study conducted?

From April to September 2020, one hundred test doctors wore Apple Watch. The clock was constantly measuring their pulse. Also, doctors had to answer questions from a specially developed questionnaire, where possible symptoms of the disease were entered.

The researchers’ primary object of interest was an indicator called heart rate variability – the interval between two adjacent cardiac cycles. These findings are combined with other possible symptoms, including fever, dry cough, and loss of taste and smell. All data were entered into a particular application on the users’ iPhone.

Based on this information, the application could predict that the subject probably picked up the “crown”. Subsequently, a control PCR test was carried out, confirming these data.

According to TechCrunch, the authors will expand their research to other devices that can continuously monitor the pulse.


It is rather difficult to judge this study’s adequacy, which cites only one indicator – heart rate variability. Since his deviation from the norm can be evidence not only of a large number of diseases, but also a cup of espresso drunk about 15 minutes ago.

Another question is that first of all, and other symptoms are important here. But still, even in this case, the watch will not say with one hundred per cent certainty that the user has COVID-19. They only recommend that you do a test since there is a suspicion of disease.

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