Wearable fitness trackers can tell when tou're getting sick

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 16:58:38-05

A new study from Stanford University School of Medicine has found that wearable health and fitness devices may potentially let you know if you’re getting sick.

This is a very interesting study. 

Stanford researchers had 60 people wear commercially available activity monitors. Some wore one, others wore up to 7. 

Almost 2 billion measurements were taken. 

Looking at the data, researchers could establish a participant’s baseline health status. Changes in typical vital signs could indicate a change in health.

More than 250,000 measurements were collected each day including the person’s heart rate, weight, temperature, sleep, exercise, and blood oxygen levels.

One of the researchers - who’s also a participant - saw changes in his heart rate and blood oxygen levels even though he felt fine. Shortly after he developed a fever and was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

This study is experimental so don’t try to self-diagnose using a fitness tracker. If you’re going to get sick, you’ll know soon enough. 

Best way to avoid getting ill is through prevention so here are my prescriptions:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid stress as long-term stress compromises your immune system.
  3. Exercise whether inside or outside. Those who do are less likely to get sick.
  4. Get your nutrients through fresh vegetables and fruits. They give your immune system what it needs to fight germs.

The researchers do want to build algorithms so that in the future, these devices will potentially let us know if we’re going to fall ill. 

But they’re also hoping to be able to predict insulin resistance, which is a precursor for diabetes, in people as well.