Garmin partners with PhysioQ to support COVID-19 research through data gathered by smartwatch

Garmin partners with nonprofit organization PhysioQ to connect registered users’ health data from Garmin smartwatches to Neo, a connected self-monitoring system that allows users to monitor their own and their family members’ vitals through the Neo mobile app. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic still around us, it is important that we keep track of these vitals, which are indicators of health status. 

With the partnership, PhysioQ will provide affordable and easy-to-learn research tools that will allow anyone, from academic researchers to everyday citizens, to conduct health research and further their passion for health science. 

Data from PhysioQ has been used by researchers in top institutions including Harvard University, Berkeley University, Boston University, McGill University, Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute, to name a few. 

As health and safety are our number one priority these days, everyone can do their part by regularly monitoring health vitals. Early recognition of symptoms will allow for timely medical treatment, with data that can easily be exported and readily accessible to medical professionals and health practitioners.

How does it work? Users can register their family members on Neo app and from there they can keep track of each family member’s vitals including blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiration rate, sleep and body temperature and receive real-time updates of these important vital signs. This will help users keep track of their family members’ health, especially older family members where abnormal readings could indicate underlying health issues.

Blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)

The ideal blood oxygen saturation level should be between 95 percent and 100 percent. According to WHO’s Interim Guidance on COVID-19, patients suffering from COVID-19 have seen their SpO2 levels drop below 93 percent.

Respiration rate

Tracking respiration rate is valuable for monitoring overall health and well-being. A normal respiration rate for a resting adult ranges from 12 to 20 breaths per minute (brpm) and this will change depending on activity levels. The respiration rate for patients suffering from COVID-19 have been monitored to go up to 30 breaths per minute. 

Heart rate

Heart rate can vary from person to person, depending on age and fitness levels. Resting heart rate is used as a key indicator of heart health and ranges from 60bpm to 100bpm. It is recommended for users to wear a smartwatch to track their heart rate throughout the day and night for a more accurate understanding of their heart rate data. 

Users are encouraged to donate their health data to PhysioQ. The donated data will then be anonymized and aggregated to aid medical researchers globally in the study to combat COVID-19 and other future pandemics.  

PhysioQ’s Neo app will be available on Android and iOS platforms for free and is compatible with Garmin’s range of smartwatches that tracks SpO2, including the latest Venu, vívoactive 4 series, vívosmart 4, vívomove 3 series, Forerunner 245 and 245 Music, Forerunner 945, fēnix 5X+, fēnix 6 series and Approach S62. 

Upon registration on PhysioQ, users will receive a promotion code that would entitle them to a 10-percent discount on any purchase of PhysioQ-compatible smartwatches on An additional 5-percent of the sales from this campaign would also be donated to PhysioQ contributing to the research of COVID-19. 

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Raquel P. Gomez
Special Features writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is tasked to write anything under the sun, but certain topics appeal to her personally, like technology, gardening, cooking, food, movies, TV series, heritage and historical areas, and travel. You may email her at