COVID-19 and Wearables Open Data Research
We all share a concern about the rapid spread of COVID-19 around our planet. At this point, it’s unclear whether researchers will be able to come up with a vaccine or if many of us should prepare to build immunity by catching the disease and getting over it. In either scenario, we find it important to study how heart rate variability (HRV) can be used to monitor COVID-19 and help determine how individuals are able to cope with the virus.
To help fight the outbreak, Welltory has launched an open research project aimed at identifying diagnostic patterns of coronavirus-inflicted disease detection, progression, and recovery. People with the virus are invited to participate in this study by tracking their symptoms, heart rate variability, and data from wearables such as Apple Watch, Garmin, or Fitbit with the Welltory app. We release this data to researchers who can study data patterns that may predict viral symptoms, and ultimately publish their findings.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please, apply to participate in the research project.
How it works
- They are using the Welltory app to provide daily HRV readings from their phones, using PPG measurement technology
- In addition to HRV, researchers get access to participants' data from wearables & apps that they synced with Welltory, including Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, and others that have integrations with Google Fit or Apple Health
- Researchers are able to study if specific data patterns could be used to predict symptoms of illness, particularly those that characterize viruses such as COVID-19, and the disease progression.
Why heart rate variability
- A reliable and well-studied scientific health monitoring tool with 25,000 papers published on Pubmed
- A lot of research confirms the connection between HRV and stress, fitness, chronic illnesses, and so on.
- Used for decades by healthcare professionals, pro athletes, and astronauts.
- Study participants' data that researchers get access to is anonymized and does not contain names, emails, or any other identifiable information
- The data is secure. Personal information of app users is and never will be shared or sold.
- Welltory has built a leading technology to measure HRV that powers an app with 1.5 million users globally.
- The research is both remote and accessible. No hospital visits and no extra gadgets needed, as anyone can measure their HRV at home with their smartphone
At Welltory, we are dedicated to helping people improve their health and boost their immune systems. We believe that heart rate variability monitoring is one of the most powerful tools available to achieve better health. This is why we created a platform that makes sense of people’s health and fitness data and enriches it with HRV measurements that our users take with their smartphones.
Why participate in the study
If you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), we welcome and encourage you to participate in this research as this can be your contribution to science and all to of us fighting the virus.
All you need to do is get your daily health assessment by using the Welltory app for 2-3 minutes. It features stats like stress, resilience, energy, and productivity, and also data from connected apps and wearables like Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin and about 100 more.
Why participate as a researcher
Whether you’re a research organization, a team of scientists or an individual data scientist, you can use data obtained from our participants for your research, which are released daily under a Creative Commons license. We will be thankful to you for publishing your findings and contribution to science.
A Slack community has been created for communication between researchers. Join it to get details on the published data, as well as analysis methods from us and other researchers. You will be able to get peer reviews from groups testing different hypotheses and write collaborative research papers.
We are regularly uploading the data in CSV format here on Github
Here is a list of supported data types
- Heart rate variability measurements. They can be taken with any Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor or with a smartphone camera that has a reasonably high resolution. A study of smartphone PPG signal processing quality; Our study comparison with Polar chest strap
- Data from user-connected gadgets including Apple Watch, Fitbit and others that have integrations with Google Fit or Apple Health.
- Clinically validated physical and mental health assessments. A special assessment was created specifically for this project, where people add information about symptoms and test results.
Hypotheses worth testing
- COVID-19 patterns
- Early diagnostics
- Psychosomatic detection
- Response to treatment
- Signs of recovery
- Identifying critical conditions
In the Alternative At-Home Test For Coronavirus: Heart Rate Variability blog post we speak in detail about how heart rate variability can be interpreted during the course of illness.
Help this project
You can also help the study by spreading the word. If you know someone with COVID-19 or see someone on the Internet talking about having it, ask them to participate. Share a link to this page. If you know people who may be interested in participating as researchers, please share this project with them as well.
Contact us at covid19 (at) welltory (dot) com
We commit to transparency and openness. Any findings obtained from this project will only be applied in the free version of our product. All findings and data are available under a Creative Commons Licence and can be used for scientific publications, commercial, or free products. Researchers will be required to share their research via OSF as a preprint openly available. We are a US company but have no relationships with any government, insurance, pharmaceutical, or healthcare companies.
We do not guarantee assistance to the researchers or the participants beyond the following:
- Providing participant data to the researchers with the participants' consent
- Providing participants with complete full access to our app for a year
We inform the participants that their involvement can lead to a better understanding of the disease, but cannot guarantee it will help in anybody’s particular case. The Welltory app is not approved for COVID-19 monitoring and is intended to support data collection and research during the pandemic but is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure COVID-19.