WHOOP Develops Novel Algorithm Capable of Identifying 80% of Symptomatic COVID-19 Cases
WHOOP, the human performance company, has leveraged its respiratory rate technology to predict COVID-19 in a new study conducted in collaboration with scientists from CQUniversity in Australia (CQUniversity). WHOOP has developed a novel proprietary algorithm that has been shown capable of detecting 20% of pre-symptomatic COVID-19 illnesses in the two days prior to the onset of symptoms, and correctly identifying 80% of symptomatic cases by the third day of symptoms. Due to a widespread shortage of testing, many people are being tested for COVID-19 much later than their third day of symptoms and WHOOP could then be used as an earlier indicator to prevent the spread.
“For the first time, we have shown that elevated respiratory rate, when compared to an individuals’ normal baseline, can be used to discriminate in some cases between people who test positive for COVID-19 and those who test negative,” said Professor Greg Roach, Head of Sleep & Circadian Physiology Research, CQUniversity.
WHOOP and CQUniversity created an anonymized, aggregated analysis of data provided by 271 members who contracted symptomatic COVID-19 or experienced COVID-19 symptoms and tested negative for the virus while wearing WHOOP. The novel algorithm was trained by looking at intraindividual changes in nighttime respiratory rate in multiple datasets within that population. Follow up research is required to understand if respiratory rate monitoring can aid in the detection of fully asymptomatic cases and WHOOP will continue to collect data to refine this algorithm.
“This study highlights the potential of consumer wearable technology to fill a yet unmet need in pandemic surveillance,” said Dr. Douglas Johnston, a cardiac surgeon and Vice Chairman, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, who conducted an internal review of the manuscript. “The finding that elevations in nocturnal respiratory rate may indicate pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic COVID-19 infection could allow for more widespread early detection and potentially focus limited testing supplies to those most likely to have coronavirus as opposed to other viral infections.”
WHOOP is a 24/7 waterproof fitness tracker that can be worn around the wrist, forearm, or bicep, and tracks key metrics like heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep staging with industry-leading accuracy. Earlier this year, WHOOP became the first and only wrist-worn wearable device to validate the accuracy of its respiratory rate during sleep in a third party study conducted by The University of Arizona and published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. This new research suggests that the ability of WHOOP to measure respiratory rate and the platform’s unique technology can have implications far beyond personal fitness and well-being.
“We have always believed in the value of research and validation in building WHOOP,” said Will Ahmed, WHOOP Founder & CEO. “This published research shows that WHOOP can be used as a non-invasive leading indicator to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are incredibly proud to help humanity beat this virus.”
WHOOP submitted this new research for peer review and publication on the utility of wearable technology in providing early warning signs of potential COVID-19 infections. A complete preprint of the article can be found online here while experts in the field evaluate the study. Learn about this research at whoop.com/the-locker.
The products and services of WHOOP are not medical devices, are not intended to diagnose COVID-19, the flu or any other disease, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content available through the products and services of WHOOP is for general informational purposes only.