Despite the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, NASA still intends to continue its space missions. TheUS space agency has announced a pilot program that involves the distribution of 1,000 Fitbit smart wearable devices to the staff of the agency including about 150 astronauts. The goal of the program is to establish whether indeed these devices significantly contribute to keeping personnel safe and healthy in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It is very important that the team who make up the agency are kept safe and healthy, especially mission-critical personnel. The selected crew members will have a Fitbit smart wearable device on them, while a daily check-in app will assist them to record vital data that could indicate potential symptoms of COVID-19, as well as several other health and fitness metrics. The trajectory of these vital daily readings could help to identify a potential coronavirus case and mitigate the impact through isolation and rapid treatment.
The data generated from the device, in addition to data logged by users will help the app to identify minute changes in your body system that could be an early warning sign of COVID-19. Under such circumstances, users will be notified by the app to either isolate or go to work. It can also advise on getting tested to have a definitive status of the virus.
It is expected that the Fitbit pilot program will further enhance safety protocols already put in place to ensure that employees are kept safe and healthy and astronauts are guaranteed as healthy prior to any space mission, so as not to jeopardize the mission.
In the height of the pandemic, smartwatches are increasingly becoming important devices that could help to identify a potential case of Covid-19 even several days before observable symptoms become visible. A recent study using Apple smartwatches revealed an ability to identify a patient who is likely to develop. Fitbit has also done similar work, in collaboration with others and hopes the results from the pilot program will help in fighting and preventing covid-19.
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