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MIDAS Seminar

A Mobile/wearable Platform for Collecting Data on Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in the Time of COVID

Danny ForgerProfessor of Computational Medicine, Bioinformatics, & Mathematics, U-MUniversity of Michigan

This talk will describe a “Social Rhythms” app we have recently released for iOS which collects data from wearables, such as Apple Watches, Fitbits and Mi Bands, to inform users about how social distancing and other factors have affected sleep and circadian (daily) internal timekeeping. Because of COVID, we may be facing the biggest circadian rhythms change of our lifetimes, which is affecting the sleep, mood and immune function of many. People may go outside less, and not getting the natural light which acts as a key synchronizer of our biological rhythms. Instead, they are getting much more screen time, which is known to disrupt our biological clocks. Our work schedules have changed, and many of us are adapting to timing living 24/7 with children who have very different timekeeping systems. I will describe how the app collects data and sends users reports on their sleep and biological timekeeping, as well as the algorithms which analyze wearable data to estimate sleep and circadian parameters. I will also describe the IT infrastructure needed to collect this data and send reports anonymously.