Wearables capture a whole lot of data about us, far beyond heart rate graphs and activity estimates. Fitbit (soon to be owned by Google) thinks it might be able to use some of that data to help with the current global pandemic to build an algorithm that could detect COVID-19 before you notice symptoms yourself. The company is currently inviting anyone who has the disease, has previously had it, or who otherwise has flu-like symptoms to participate in its research.

Fitbit hopes to find common details in the associated fitness data for those that have caught the disease to better enhance early detection methods. If there are statistical tendencies or previously unknown early warning signs among those that have COVID-19, things like intervention and isolation could happen that much sooner

This research will apparently build on similar studies out of The Scripps Research Translational Institute and Stanford. Anyone over the age of 21, living in the US or Canada, and who has/has had the disease or similar flu-like symptoms is invited to participate via a short questionnaire in the the Assessments & Reports section of the Discover tab inside the Fitbit app.