Mount Sinai study uses Apple Watches to uncover physiological effects of COVID-19 for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers with strong emotional support groups and high resilience were better protected from COVID-19 pandemic-induced stress, according to a Sept. 13 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers from Mount Sinai gave 361 healthcare workers from seven hospitals across New York City Apple Watches to measure their heart rate. The study's participants also downloaded a customized app to complete surveys each week that measured resilience, emotional support, stress, optimism and quality of life.

Four insights:

  1. High resiliency is described in the study as the ability to overcome difficulty and reduced vulnerability to environmental stressors, according to a Sept. 13 news release on the study. Healthcare workers with high resiliency had different autonomic nervous system stress patterns, which demonstrated how they perceived stress and how their bodies were physically affected by it, according to the news release.

  2. The study found that the number of COVID-19-positive people in the community played a significant factor in stress for the workers over time.

  3. The results from metrics measured by Apple Watches aligned with answers reported in participants' weekly survey, the release said.

  4. Robert Hirten, MD, is a study author, an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a member of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Clinical Intelligence Center. Dr. Hirten said that "assessing the resilience and emotional support of health care workers may be able to help identify those at risk from ongoing stressors and may help guide health care institutions in allocating mental health resources for these at-risk employees."

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars