NASA is doing its best to keep employees COVID-free. That includes testing Fitbit bracelets as possible warning devices for coronavirus infections.
Before urging its 1,000 employees – including astronauts – to take COVID-19 tests at the first sign of illness or testing them at random, NASA is giving Fitbits a try.
The agency handed out Fitbit watches to each of their employees to track various health parameters, including body temperature. By monitoring that data closely, NASA hopes it will prevent an outbreak at its facilities.
“Based on a user’s daily check-in, the solution will provide NASA employees with daily guidance to help them decide whether to go to work or stay home,” a Fitbit press release states.
While there is some indication that Fitbit devices can predict COVID-19 cases based on breathing rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV), NASA will be using them as part of a trial for the time being. As data comes in, the agency will see if they can rely on them for the immediate future or not.
Update 2/12: The article was edited to show that there is research regarding Fitbit devices and COVID-19 cases.