"From all over the world, all over the country, every state," says Greg Marcus, M.D., of UCSF.
Dr. Marcus says the COVID-19 Citizen Science study has been so successful they're now augmenting it with a second piece of technology. It's designed to hone in on the way the virus attacks the human heart.
"Dangerously slow heart rhythms, where there's an electrical block, have been observed," Dr. Marcus explains. "And very dangerously fast heart rhythms have been observed. And in fact there have been cases of individuals dying suddenly."
RELATED: Here's what it will take to reopen the Bay Area
Now a number of willing volunteers, who've tested positive for the coronavirus, are being asked to wear a special monitor. The device is known as the Zio patch. It was developed in the Bay Area by San Francisco-based iRhythm. Once placed on the chest, the patch is able to detect and record heart rhythms with minimum inconvenience to the patient.
"That gets this really rich data, that we'll be able to look at and be able to say what is this?" chief clinical officer Judy Lenane explained. "What happens to people's heart with COVID?"
The patch looks something like a flash drive embedded in soft flexible plastic. Lenane says it's typically worn for about two weeks.
RELATED: What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
"And then what we do is we extract all the data from the device itself," she said. "We then use our FDA cleared, proprietary algorithms that are deep neural nets, so it's not just machine learned any more, it's deep learned."
Dr. Marcus adds, "Any readings that are unusual or abnormal, we will take a look at those strips."
He believes the cellphone tracking, combined with the rich, sophisticated data retrieved from the Zio patch, could help researchers to learn about both the virus's short and long term effect on the heart. Potentially life-saving information, provided in part by an army of volunteers, dedicated to fighting back against COVID-19.
If you're interested in participating in the UCSF Covid-19 Citizen Science Study, you can download the app at eureka.app.link/covid19 (if prompted, enter the study key: covid) or by texting "COVID" to 41411.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions