Zurich - Two researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH) have developed a smartwatch app and companion app to help people suffering from the effects of Long Covid. The apps can help patients to better control their own stress limits. For their work, the researchers were presented with the UZH Postdoc Team Award 2023.

This year’s UZH Postdoc Team Award has been presented to André Meyer-Baron und Carlo Cervia-Hasler, further details of which can be found in a press release issued by the University of Zurich (UZH). This privately funded award, which comes with prize money of 15,000 Swiss francs for the winners, recognizes outstanding and independent scientific achievements linked to interdisciplinary collaborations that relate to topical social issues. The two scientists’ focus topic here is Long Covid

Meyer-Baron works at the Department of Informatics at UZH, where he carries out research into biometric sensors, among other things. Cervia-Hasler works at the Department of Immunology at University Hospital Zurich (USZ), where he focuses on biomarkers to detect Long Covid in the blood. In collaboration with the Long Covid Switzerland patient organization, they developed a smartwatch app by the name of MindfulPacer that also comes with a companion app.

This is intended to help those suffering from the effects of Long Covid to avoid a breakdown as a result of overexertion. Up to now, activity pacing, which is essentially the careful limitation of physical activities and external influences, is the only strategy for keeping Long Covid symptoms somewhat under control.

With the MindfulPacer app, users can set personal limits such as a maximum number of heartbeats per minute and a daily step count. These limits are linked to a warning system, while events that trigger an alarm can also be noted in the app.

However, the award-winning duo are not minded to commercialize the MindfulPacer app, although they are keen to make it available to as wide an audience as possible: “Our main goal is to help as many people affected by Long Covid as possible and to work together with them to keep advancing MindfulPacer”, Meyer-Baron comments. ce/mm

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