To control Covid-19, we are forced to find new ways. Data tracking via smartphone could be one of these ways to better track and control the spread of the virus. However, this approach is currently highly controversial. The Principality of Lichtenstein has instead chosen the Ava Fertility Tracker in a study.
Does the Ava Fertility Tracker successfully help against Covid-19? (Summary)
- The Ava Fertility Tracker is designed to detect typical symptoms of Covid-19 such as high temperature, shortness of breath and coughing and, if present, to ask the user to test.
- The study is still in its early stages and no robust results are yet known.
- As long as there is no vaccination against Covid-19, this is only for early detection.
Which path does Liechtenstein take?
While in Asia, in particular, the emphasis is on monitoring by mobile phone data, the Principality of Liechtenstein is choosing a different path. Liechtenstein wants to equip its citizens with biometric bracelets to track possible coronavirus infections in real time.
Liechtenstein has a number of advantages for this approach. So far, there are only about 80 infected people out of a population of 38,000. This facilitates the tracking of infection chains. A problem, however, is the possibly insufficient number of intensive care beds if the infection rate increases.
For this reason, a study has been launched in Liechtenstein in which 2000 bracelets are distributed to volunteers. The Ava Fertility Tracker, which measures body data such as skin temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood flow – data that is normally used to identify women’s fertile days – was used. After measurement, the data is sent to a Swiss laboratory for analysis. Measurements are only taken at night. The background is that movements make the measurements inaccurate.
The trick is that the software is supposed to recognize the “cardinal symptoms” of Covid-19:
- raised temperature, shortness of breath, and coughing.
The study is designed to develop an algorithm that uses the data to learn which body signals indicate Covid-19 infection before a patient even notices it. The wearer will then receive a request to take a test.
The study will show whether this goal can be achieved. In principle, as long as there is no suitable vaccine, there is no real protection. Protective measures such as wearing masks and strengthening the immune system through a balanced diet and exercise can help in the event of an infection.
Irrespective of the possible success of the study, it remains to be seen to what extent data protection concerns stand in the way of further dissemination and implementation. Basically, the idea is to identify typical Covid-19 signals in advance smart. This is especially true since, as of April 2020, nationwide tests are not yet possible in Germany and therefore there is most likely an unreported number of X.
The actual use of the Ava Fertility Tracker
The bracelet was developed in 2016 to make it easier to determine the fertile days. In short, the tracker,
- Real-time calculations of the fertile window were running,
monitor five physiological signals to accurately determine the beginning of the fertile window.
The tracker is worn during sleep and synchronized with the app in the morning.