My Apple Watch detected my Covid 2 days before I tested positive but didn’t say anything

Sunday September 18, I tested positive for Covid-19. Two days earlier, my Apple Watch Series 8 had detected the first signs of this. Too bad Apple did not provide special notifications.

In my Apple Watch Series 8 review, published on September 15, 2022, criticized Apple’s connected watch for being too cautious in using its new temperature sensors. The Californian manufacturer has decided to limit them to the control of menstrual cycles, when technically they can do more. I concluded the health portion of the test with the following sentence: “After two years of Covid, a watch that could use measurements of heart rate, blood oxygen levels and wrist temperature to detect the onset of the disease would have been fantastic.”

Did I play with karma? Three days after writing this test, I tested positive for Covid for the first time. What motivated me to take the test was precisely my Apple Watch.

Three days of rising temperatures

The new Apple Watch Series 8 has two thermometers. One touches the wrist permanently, the other hides under the screen and is used to calculate the difference in temperature with the outside environment. This is the first time that Apple has launched a watch with thermometers, while some competing brands, such as Fitbit and Samsung, already do so.

Can the new Apple Watch give you your temperature? Unfortunately not. The temperature of the wrist has nothing to do with that of the forehead, which makes the measurement of body temperature very approximate. Some brands have chosen to offer budgets, Apple has chosen to do nothing on behalf of ” The science “. In Cupertino in early September, we were able to argue with the brand managers who told us that they preferred to play it safe. As a result, there is no “Temperature” app on the Apple Watch. Thermometers are only used transparently for ovulation prediction.

wrist temperature
The three days of temperature rise correspond to when I got sick. So I started to get better. // Source: Number

To check the measurements of the “wrist temperature”, it is essential to use the iPhone Health application. This is exactly what I did on Sunday, September 18, after having started coughing and blowing my nose two days earlier. I then noticed a significant increase in my wrist temperature for the last three days, whereas I had only experienced a feverish episode last night. This “disorder” surprised me and prompted me to test myself. And there, surprise, was I positive for covid-19.

The following days, the fever and headaches disappeared, resulting in a return to normal in the application. On Wednesday I was no longer positive, although I still have some symptoms.

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The Apple Watch takes 5 days to identify a reference temperature. Then you can measure the variations. // Source: Louise Audry / Numerama

What Apple could do better with its watch

So yes, the title of this article can be misunderstood. No, the Apple Watch Series 8 does not have the ability to scientifically identify a Covid. On the other hand, she might have suggested to me that on the second day of my temperature rise, she should test me, or at least tell me that my body was getting hotter and hotter. Even if it were an option, I would like the option to receive notifications when the Apple Watch detects something surprising in terms of my temperature. Ces données, combined with cells du suivi du sommeil (which is particulièrement agité les jours avant mon test), à mon rythme cardiac et à mon taux d’oxygène dans le sang, pourraient sans doute permettre à Apple d’envoyer de bons conseils au Good moment. It’s a shame to have such sensors without any artificial intelligence behind them.

Hopefully watchOS 10 next year will add a lot of new features to Apple’s thermometers. Again, no one is asking Apple to replace antigen tests or actual thermometers. Simply telling users what the watch sees could be helpful.

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