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1Life, LifeQ and Samsung South Africa launch Covid-19 screening app as SA is expected to enter a 3rd wave

02 June 2021 1Life

1Life, together with LifeQ, using a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 device, have launched a first-in-SA Covid-19 screening app.

It uses unique models derived from users’ biometric data to give them an indication of changes in their health, enabling consumers to take proactive precautions in the event of potential Covid-19 onset, which is essential as the country faces a potential 3rd wave of infections. There is growing evidence (1) for the use of biometrics in early detection of many physical conditions, and this Covid-19 solution is the first of many solutions that LifeQ plans to offer to consumers, athletes, and those with acute and chronic illness.

The LifeQ Covid-19 app (2) can flag potential Covid-19 onset in an individual entering the dangerous 48-hour period of viral shedding before symptoms are experienced, which assists in slowing down the spread of Covid-19 and could prove to be very helpful in the pre-symptomatic detection of Covid-19 infection, encouraging individuals to isolate earlier rather than later.

“Recent studies (3) indicate that biometric data collected on wearables can be used as early warning indicators of Covid-19. There’s a great opportunity here to empower consumers to make informed decisions using this data – helping them take precaution or seek medical assistance in good time,” says Laurence Hillman, CEO at 1Life. “Through 1Life Pulse, which we launched last year, we’ve already made wearables and biometric data available to end users. The next step is to provide them with the LifeQ Covid-19 screening solution – giving them peace of mind around their wellbeing - letting them know they are doing ok, but also warning them around changes detected which may signal the onset of Covid-19.”

“The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, is designed to accurately measure users’ heartrates, skin temperature and other physiological indicators. Combined with LifeQ’s unique software and models, data from the Galaxy Watch Active 2 can be used to help spot Coronavirus infections days before an individual shows any symptoms. This is innovation in action and being able to provide South Africans with vital information even before they are symptomatic cements the power of technology in modern society and amplifies the value of wearable technology,” says Justin Hume, Director Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa.

The LifeQ Covid-19 screening app aims to help contain transmission of the virus by alerting individuals to possible infection prior to symptom onset through a combination of physiological monitoring combined with user feedback. Changes in physiology, detected by LifeQ, using data from the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, alerts individuals to these changes and allows them to provide contextual feedback via a web-based app. The app provides each person with a daily screening status to help guide their behaviour and interactions with others. This helps them make informed decisions around self-isolation and testing.

“One of the biggest problems with Covid-19 is the period in which you have the disease and don’t know it - not knowing if you are passing it on to your loved ones or work colleagues. With this app, we are hoping to change that, and give people the information they need to be proactive and slow the rate of infection,” says Christopher Rimmer, Chief Commercial Officer at LifeQ. “We are in control of so many aspects of our lives, but when it comes to health – particularly Covid-19 – we often feel helpless and anxious… until now.”

The app ensures users can monitor their status to provide an early indication of changes in health and possible Covid-19 infection. It provides a simple way to know how you are doing and if you might be progressing towards illness.
• A green status signals that you are doing well, there appear to be no issues and you can continue with your day to day normally.
• A yellow status signals that that you should be exercising caution, adjusting your behaviour, and monitoring yourself for symptoms within the next 1-2 days.
• A red status signals that you are unwell since you have either reported symptoms or a positive Covid-19 test within the app.

The LifeQ Covid-19 app also gives users a pre-infection risk score that provides an indication of their risk of getting seriously ill if they were to contract Covid-19.

“This type of proactive communication with the user around their health is revolutionary – not only in mitigating the risk of spreading the disease, but also in putting the health of the individual and their contacts into their own hands. We all know that when it comes to looking after our health and wellbeing, prevention and early detection is key,” continues Hillman.

“There is no doubt that, as we move forward, we are learning more and more about Covid-19 and are identifying better ways to prevent transmission beyond social and vaccination measures. As a business that is always striving to change people’s lives – we are extremely proud to be able to offer this app to our 1Life Pulse policyholders,” concludes Hillman.

References:
1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41528-021-00107-x
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41928-020-00533-1

2. In a study of 126 participants run over 1 month, 8 individuals developed symptomatic COVID-19 (6%). Of the 8 individuals, only 6 had sufficient data for analysis. LifeQ detected and correctly flagged anomalies in all 6 individuals in the 48 period before they developed symptoms."

3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1123-x

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