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(Pocket-lint) - King's College wants to use your Fitbit to learn more about the novel coronavirus.

Owners of Fitbit's fitness trackers have been recruited to participate in multiple COVID-19 research studies, including at King's College London, the Scripps Research Translational Institute, and the Stanford Medicine Healthcare Innovation Lab in the US. Now, a new Mass Science app from King's College has arrived for wearable device users, allowing researchers to match coronavirus symptoms to heart rate, sleep, and activity data.

While you don't need a Fitbit device to enroll in the study, the Mass Science app is designed to support data provided by those trackers and watches. Researchers want to gather health data from the wearables to compare users' periods of illness to their healthy periods. Researchers can glean insights from this data about how the disease spreads, and they might be able to create a test that can be used to detect early warning signs.

The other goal is to track the disease nationally and locally, learn more about the transmission rate, and the most important symptoms. the immediate focus is on participants in the UK, but since this is a worldwide pandemic, King's College wants to study a wide range of people at different stages.

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You can download the new Mass Science mobile app for Android and iOS devices and find more information about enrollment from the COVID-Collab project webpage here. Keep in mind this new Mass Science app is separate from Fitbit's own COVID-19 study, launched in May from within the Fitbit app.

The Gear Loop

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Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 22 July 2020.