The App That Warns You When You’re Getting Sick


by Elizabeth Bennett |

Scientists at California’s Stanford University are working on an app that will be able to notify you that you're going to fall ill before you notice any symptoms.

The technology gathers data such as heart rate and body temperature from a wearable health tracker (for example an Apple Watch), to warn you of flu like symptoms up to half a day in advance.

The team developing the app have been testing it on forty-three volunteers for the past eleven months. Project leader Professor Michael Snyder found that just before people became sick, their heart rate and skin temperature go up, whereas their blood oxygen level goes down.

“Our app gives you a first alert that something is not quite right – because these physiological changes happen before you even notice you are ill,” Snyder explained.

Snyder suggested that using the app would help people to both plan for, and deal with, flu better.

“You might look at your monitor, and it’ll say “I think you are coming down with something – perhaps you shouldn’t go out dancing tonight. Stay at home and have chicken soup instead”,” he explained.

While the app could be really useful for healthy people, it could be life changing for those suffering from chronic health problems, or their loved ones who are worried about them.

"I’d like my mum to have one, so I could keep tabs on her health from 3,000 miles away," said Prof Snyder.

As the app still needs some developing, we're afraid we're going to have to wait a couple of years before it comes to market.

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