Mount Sinai researchers using Apple Watch to study COVID-19 stress

Researchers at Mount Sinai are the latest to leverage wearables to study the COVID-19 crisis. By using the Apple Watch in combination with a unique phone app and simple survey questions, they hope to study the psychological impact of COVID-19 and potentially flag early signs of the disease

Other researchers have used surveys or medical devices to try and track the spread of the novel coronavirus. What sets their study apart, say Dr. Robert Hirten and Zahi Fayad of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center, is its specific focus on healthcare workers across a variety of occupations.

“We didn’t want to focus on a specific group of healthcare workers,” said Hirten in an interview with Healthcare IT News. “We wanted to assess the psychological stress across the spectrum so we can really see who the groups of people are who might be most in need of help.” 

As Hirten pointed out, it’s not just frontline workers who are at risk of the psychological and physical impacts of COVID-19. “A person coming in after a [COVID-19] patient is in the room – there’s a lot of risk for the person cleaning the room,” he said.

Earlier this month, Apple