NASA and Fitbit Partner Up to Catch COVID-19 Cases Early

A Fitbit Charge 4 on a blue countertop.
Fitbit

Fitbit and NASA are partnering up to test using Fitbit to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among NASA employees and astronauts. One-thousand NASA employees will wear Fitbit Charge 4 devices and use a check-in system to log symptoms and temperatures to catch infection cases before they can spread.

NASA already routinely isolates astronauts and mission-critical employees to avoid spreading any infections, let alone COVID-19, but the sooner it can catch a case, the better. To that end, it’ll hand out Fitbit Charge 4 devices to 1,000 NASA employees, including 150 astronauts and NASA employees critical to future space missions.

Those employees will check in daily, log symptoms and temperatures, while the Fitbit provides daily resting heart rate and heart rate variability data along with respiratory rate. Early studies suggest that COVID-10 affects all three, and so watching for changes could lead to diagnosing the disease sooner. A similar Apple Watch studied allowed researchers to diagnose COVID-19 up to a week early. Participating employees will get access to one year of Fitbit Premium and one-on-one Fitbit health coaching services.

The pandemic has underscored the critical role that Fitbit can play in providing much-needed support to help people sleep better, eat better, move more and take control of their health and wellness, as well as the potential to identify illness from specific health metrics, which is especially important now during the COVID-19 crisis, said Amy McDonough, Managing Director and General Manager, Fitbit Health Solutions at Google. We are proud to work with NASA to support its employees and give them access to Fitbit products and services to help them better understand and manage their health and well-being during the pandemic.

After evaluating the program, NASA may consider expanding it out to more employees

Source: NASA

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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