Wearables Diagnosed Lyme


Stanford professor Michael Snyder recently was diagnosed with Lyme Disease by noticing changes in his body by wearing a Basis smart watch (since discontinued), a RadTarge radiation monitor, and iHealth, Scanadu, and Masimo oximeters, and also using the MOVES app on his smart phone. Together, information is collected on heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature, and activity, including sleep; steps; walking, biking, and running; calories expended; acceleration; and exposure to gamma rays and X-rays.

Snyder wore this gear regularly for two years as part of a study of 60 people, and frequently calibrated it with more standard medical tests.

After a plane ride he noticed that his oxygen levels—which he’d previously realized dropped during an airplane flight but returned quickly after landing—didn’t return to his baseline as expected. And his heart rate—that usually increased at the beginning of a flight but again quickly returned to baseline—didn’t come down as it normally would.

He remembered that two weeks earlier, he’d been building a fence in rural Massachusetts.  Then, his wearables also started recording a fever. He convinced a local doctor to treat him with antibiotics. Later tests for Lyme proved his theory.

Snyder and the other researchers who worked on the study, know that Lyme disease triggers particularly strong changes in heart rate.