How fitness trackers can monitor COVID long-haulers

Researchers monitored the Fitbit data of wearers who tested positive for COVID-19 and found those individuals had an elevated heart for an average of nearly three months after their initial symptoms.

"What they interestingly show is that after people develop COVID, it takes longer for their bodies to recover," Dr. Robert Hirten told FOX 5 NY, "for their heart rate and sleep activity to recover to their reinfection baseline, compared to those who develop other types of respiratory infections." 

The study was published in JAMA Network.

Hirten, an assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and an expert on wearable fitness trackers, added that over 10% of people who develop covid can have prolonged symptoms. 

"The ability to use these wearable devices allows us to objectively monitor people at home as they go through the course of their daily life to see how they're actually doing, how their vital signs are doing," Hirten said. "It's a very nice compliment to some of the other studies that are being done."

Hirten said that any fitness tracker can collect the data needed to monitor the recovery of COVID-long haulers.

There's also hope for relief for anyone suffering from long-term symptoms. 

"A number of centers, especially in the New York City area, are developing specialized centers to care for people who are developing these long-term symptoms," Hirten said. "For example, where I work at Mount Sinai Hospital, we have a center dedicated to the care of patients who have long-term covid symptoms."

Those in search of care should first consult with their primary care doctor.

Mount Sinai Center for Post-COVID Care | 10 Union Square East, New York, N.Y. 10003 | 212-844-6300

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app | Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters | Get the Fox 5 Weather App