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Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Fitness Trackers

In Elemental. More on Medium.

New research suggests fitness devices can improve real-time flu-tracking

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Forecasting the flu is a pain. The influenza virus evolves into different strains each year, which makes it hard for the makers of the flu vaccine to create the perfect flu shot in advance. Once flu season is in full swing, and the number of infections is picking up, pinpointing where and when an outbreak will hit is nearly impossible. It is, therefore, no surprise that flu outbreaks often spread rapidly and unpredictably, killing up to 61,000 people in the United States each year.

Health trackers could be valuable if they measured more data

Credit: T3 Magazine/Getty Images

Steps, calories, heart rate, blood pressure, sleep, menstrual cycle: Today there are all sorts of ways to measure, track, analyze, and judge your body’s functioning. According to a survey from earlier this year, 34% of adults reported using mobile health apps, primarily for monitoring heart rate and exercise; 27% said they use fitness wearables. And more of these products are coming down the pipe: Rumors that Apple may add a sleep-tracking app to the Apple Watch continue to spread, and the wearables industry is estimated to grow by 20% each year for the next half-decade.

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