Purdue University and physIQ partner develop smart watch-based algorithm for early detection of signs of viral infection, including COVID-19

  • Early detection of a virus infection can be as easy as wearing a smartwatch
  • The physIQ app embedded in the watch collects physiological data when the patient is monitored remotely
  • Cooperation promotes expansion of other smartwatch-based monitoring applications

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.Purdue University And physical stats, a leader in digital medicine, announced on Thursday (October 28) the co-development of a virus detection algorithm for smartwatches. This innovation will be the result of a collaboration between physIQ and the university’s engineers. The algorithm will be commercialized by physIQ, a company that develops solutions designed to improve healthcare outcomes by applying artificial intelligence to real-time physiological data from sensors with wearable.

The study was led by Craig Goergen, Purdue University Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

“Smartwatches are well-suited for early detection of viral infections, including COVID-19,” said Goergen. “Contagion can occur at any time, making continuously monitored data available through an individual’s smart watch uniquely suited to identify the earliest signs of illness. In particular, knowledge of a person’s normal heart rate and respiration during sleep and activity for long periods of time is particularly valuable for detecting subtle changes from normal.”

Study monitors participants using the physIQ app against ‘gold standard’ biosensor data

The study included a study with 100 participants, including Purdue University students, staff, and faculty, to determine whether wearing a smartwatch to collect data was practical, unobtrusive. and user-friendly or not. Each participant received a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch with the physIQ app preloaded for data collection. Along with the smartwatches, they also wear an FDA-approved chest biosensor that captures single-lead ECG signals and other parameters for five days of continuous monitoring. Goergen’s lab analyzed data from the remote application using physIQ’s cloud-based boosterIQ™ platform.

Data from the chest patches is processed using AI-based algorithms that have been processed by the US Food and Drug Administration by physIQ to determine heart rate, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability. These data serve as a “gold standard” reference for comparison with data from smart meters.

“Algorithms that enable early detection are built on physiological features derived from biosensor data collected by smartwatches,” said Stephan Wegerich, scientific director of physIQ. “Generating robust and accurate physiological traits will form the input for further virus detection algorithms. This requires the development of complex signal processing and machine learning algorithms. When combined, they take full advantage of the smartwatch’s biosensor data, which is an important part of our partnership with Purdue.”

The virus infection detection algorithm complements physIQ’s other healthcare applications. The goal above all applications of physIQ is the ability to characterize dynamic human physiology over time, whether it is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new therapy, monitor its safety during treatment or general health.

“The collaborative nature of our relationship and work with Purdue University has the potential to significantly expand the physiological monitoring applications of physIQ that can be targeted for a variety of clinical needs using using the pinpointIQ™ and boostIQ™ platforms,” said Dr. Steve Steinhubl, physIQ’s Purdue medical director and alumni.

In January 2020, physIQ received $500,000 from the Purdue Research Foundation Mint Investment Fund to help develop its technology. In addition to this investment, three of physIQ’s leaders are Purdue alumni, including co-founder and CEO Gary Conkright, Steinhubl, and Chad Conkright, vice president of engineering.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked by US News & World Report for the past 4 years as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States, Purdue offers world-changing research and out-of-this-world exploration. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue provides a transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue froze tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue is relentlessly pursuing the next leap at

Introduction to PhysIQ

PhysIQ is a leader in digital medicine, dedicated to generating unprecedented health insights using continuous wearable biosensor data and advanced analytics. Its industry-leading enterprise-ready cloud platform continuously collects and processes data from any wearable biosensor using an FDA-approved portfolio of in-depth analytics. receive. The company has published one of the most rigorous clinical studies to date in digital medicine and is a pioneer in developing, validating, and obtaining regulatory approval for clinical drugs. based on Artificial Intelligence. With applications in both clinical trial support and healthcare, physIQ is transforming continuous physiological data into insights for health systems, payers, and pharmaceutical companies. For more information, visit Follow us at Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media contact for questions about Purdue University:

Steve Martin,

Media contact for questions about physIQ:

Staci Rubinstein,, 847-549-0712

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