Detecting Sickness with Wearables

I fell rather ill about a year ago and was amazed how much my heart rate and sleep data reflected this sickness.

The day before I became sick, my resting heart rate while sleeping was 46 BPM. Then the day I became sick my resting heart rate heightened to 66 BPM. Then the second day of sickness it was still very elevated at 64 BPM.

On a similar token with even more interesting implications, my average heart rate during the day gave away the incoming sickness a day before. Two days before I fell ill, my heart rate was at the usual 65 BPM. Then the day before I became sick it had elevated slightly to 70 BPM. Then one day into the sickness my average heart rate had elevated all the way to 82 BPM. Two days into the sickness, it had increased to 86 BPM.

After three days with the sickness but on the mend, it had dropped to 75 BPM, clearly indicating rapid recovery. This level of healing kept up, and in a day I was well again.

Had medical care been advanced enough, the day before I became sick I would have received an alert that it detected a likelihood of falling ill. I then would have taken a quick medical test to see if it was true, and then been successfully diagnosed and taking medicine before the symptoms had appeared.

This kind of sophistication is what we are heading toward, and as this data shows, we are already able to identify sickness with a simple heart rate monitor.