Advisory Board July 30, 2020

Amid a surge in new coronavirus cases, scientists are turning to wearable devices—including smartwatches, rings, and patches—to detect and track new cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Here are six innovative ways researchers are employing wearables to identify and combat Covid-19.

1. A Covid-detecting patch

Northwestern University has developed a patch—designed to be placed at the dip on the front base of the user’s neck—that can measure temperature, heart rate, body motions, chest wall movements, and respiratory sounds that indicate a cough.

According to John Rogers, who is part of the team that developed the patch, “irregular respiratory and cardiac activity” is common among Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital. In addition, patients’ coughing rate can help determine...