An app called Visible is helping long-Covid sufferers cope with their ongoing symptoms. (Source: Adobe Stock)

App Tool Tracks Symptoms, Rates Their Severity in Managing Long Covid

This winter, Covid is back with a vengeance in several states, but for some, it never went away. The World Health Organization defines “long Covid” as a post-covid illness lasting two months or more. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, weakness and fever.

According to a story on MIT’s, relief may be in sight for those still dealing with Covid-related symptoms, which are more likely to flare up when people are under physical or mental stress, requiring them to “pace” themselves to stay healthy.

The new app, Visible, collects information daily to help sufferers manage their recovery and determine what worsens symptoms. Here’s how it works:

“Users measure their heart rate variability (the variation in time between beats) every morning by placing a finger over the phone’s camera for 60 seconds. This measures the pulse by recording small changes in the color of the user’s skin.

The user then rates the severity of their long covid symptoms in the evening on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 representing no symptoms, and 3 representing severe symptoms). Research from the American Heart Association has found that reduced heart rate variability, which corresponds with a more stressed nervous system, is common in people with long Covid.”

Heart rate variability can predict when someone can become fatigued and vulnerable to worsening symptoms. That’s when they should take it easy.

Two other efforts are being used to track long Covid. University College London created Lungy, which is designed to help users with long covid, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) do breathing exercises. The UK’s Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, has been developed to help patients log their progress so that clinicians can adjust their treatment accordingly.