- TitleFounder and CEO
Ahmed’s fitness wearable, the WHOOP strap, has been popular for years with enthusiasts, not to mention elite athletes like Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes and WNBA legend Sue Bird. But the precision wellness device—which collects and analyzes physiological data around the clock to track a person’s performance, recovery, and sleep—has also emerged as an important health-monitoring tool in pandemic times.
In June, pro golfer and WHOOP wearer Nick Watney figured out he had come down with COVID-19 based on wearable data showing an elevated respiratory rate. (WHOOP, working with Australia’s CQUniversity, identified the measure as a reliable leading indicator of COVID infection earlier this year.)
Watney, who was two days into a PGA tournament at the time (and who had tested negative for the disease a couple of days earlier) withdrew from the event. The PGA has since outfitted everyone in the tour’s bubble—players, caddies, and others—with WHOOP bands. The LPGA, the University of Tennessee’s athletic department, various Hollywood sets, and companies with essential workers have done the same. The device is also being used to monitor the health of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants. Ahmed, who founded the venture-backed company in 2012, meanwhile continues to push the company toward more research through partnerships with Harvard Medical School, Brigham Health, and other institutions.