Fitbit is known for its wearable fitness trackers working with the Army on developing technology to observe for pre-symptomatic COVID-19 diseases, declared by the company on October 29.
This will be a $2.5 million deal made through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC), which is small in size but significant in the potential for delivering novel technologies to combating the spread of the COVID-19 in the military. Fitbit is only in the phase of verifying its COVID-19 early discovery algorithm through studies sponsored by the Army. Other offices in the military have experimented with the plan, along with other individual wearable technology companies.
A COVID-19 infection may not exhibit any symptoms in someone infectious with the coronavirus. Therefore, Fitbit will practice its health monitoring technology to identify slight changes in a person that shows a possible infection. The Defense Innovation Unit conducts a related program with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency named Rapid Analysis of Threat Exposure (RATE).
The technology testing is taking place at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, New York state’s largest healthcare provider. Thousand of Fitbit devices will be provided to medical workers who will be informed if the algorithm estimates they have COVID-19. Possible positive cases will be checked with formal experimentation to try and validate the results.