(CNN) – Can your wearable device do more for your health than just track your steps and monitor your heart rate?
Your FitBit could help predict when you get the flu.
It could even help health officials predict outbreaks.
Scripps Research Translational Institute analyzed data of 47,000 users who wore their FitBits consistently between March 2016 and March 2018 in five states.
They monitored changes in users’ average heart rate and sleeping patterns to identify when the user could have the flu.
Someone suffering from the flu tends to have an elevated heart rate and changes in their sleep pattern.
Researchers compared the data to weekly flu reports in their states put out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The result was essentially a real-time flu prediction.
(This story was originally published on January 17, 2020)