Top Stories

Smart Rings from WVU could detect COVID-19 before symptoms show

In the fight against COVID-19, smart rings are being studied as a way to predict if someone will test positive before they show any signs.

“It is like a wedding ring with some sensors inside that measure your heart rate, your temperature and other physiological aspects of respiration’s, sleep,” said Dr. Ali Rezai.

Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

Rezai and a team of West Virginia University neuroscientists have been studying these rings on 30,000 patients for the last three years to determine if someone has seasonal flu before showing symptoms -- helping patients with pain management, addiction and Alzheimer’s.

“We quickly adapted the technology toward those with high risk exposure with COVID positive individuals into the ER,” Rezai said.

Right now, 400 front line health care workers are wearing the rings, from West Virginia to Pennsylvania New York City and even in Europe. They call it digital personal protection equipment because it can potentially identify infected workers 24 hours before they show symptoms and limited the spread.

“When you get influenza or COVID, your body is affected for days before symptoms come on​,” Rezai said.

The ring’s sensor monitors the nervous system, heart rate, respiration and temperature, as well as sleep, cognitive ability, behavioral and psychological factors.

Doctors are working to advance the science, hoping in the near future the artificial intelligence will detect the virus three to four days before any symptoms emerge.

Many of the doctors and nurses are thankful for a high tech form of protection.

“The response has been overwhelming positive we have been getting request from all over this country. It’s simple a ring and app on your phone, that’s all it takes,” Rezai said.

Comments on this article