Mar 26: UMC Utrecht is looking for 20,000 participants for wrist device to detect COVID-19

This month, a study was started in UMC Utrecht to see whether a "smart" bracelet can help in the fight against corona. The "smart" bracelet continuously measures changes in physiological parameters such as temperature, heart rate and respiration. A change in these indicators may indicate contamination with COVID-19. For example, the bracelet could signal an infection, perhaps days before the wearer develops symptoms.

A total of 20,000 participants are sought for the COVID-RED study. Anyone older than 18 can register via

The sooner the better

Rick Grobbee is professor of Clinical Epidemiology at UMC Utrecht and leads the COVID-RED research. Grobbee: “A higher temperature can indicate a starting fever, and coughing and shortness of breath also have a direct effect on breathing. A change of these factors together can indicate contamination with COVID-19. The wearer of the bracelet will then immediately receive a signal and must be tested quickly. This is the first smart device that processes real-time data. And that is important because if you already detect a COVID19 infection at an early stage, you can immediately go to quarantine and the chance that you infect someone else is smaller. This technology could play an important role in containing this pandemic and identifying infectious diseases in the future. ”

Participating while sleeping, how does it work?

Participants in the COVID-RED study will receive a "smart bracelet" free of charge. The participant wears the bracelet every night. In the morning, the data is synchronized with a specially developed app. Once every two weeks, the participant answers a short questionnaire. The participant is asked to take a few drops of blood four times. The investigation lasts a maximum of nine months.

The Ava bracelet is an existing product normally used by women to monitor fertility.

Broad collaboration

Nine international partners are participating in COVID-RED, but most of the research takes place in the Netherlands. The European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has provided a grant of 10 million euros for this research. This research is supported by the EU / EFPIA Innovative Medicines Initiative [2] Joint Undertaking COVID-RED grant no 101005177.