As the NBA season is set to resume with matches at the Walt Disney World facilities in Orlando, the NBA is offering players a smart ring to track COVID-19 symptoms. Oura Health confirmed it’s providing the Oura smart ring and its “early illness detection monitoring” system to not only NBA players but also team and league staff.
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The company said the ring can track a user’s health data and even predict if users are about to show symptoms of coronavirus infection.
The $299 titanium ring was originally intended to provide its users with an overall picture of their health by looking at their movement, sleep and other functions. But its users began noticing that changes in their overall health score could be early predictors for illness, reports CNBC.
“It started with our users,” Harpreet Rai, chief executive officer of Oura, said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “One user of ours in Finland was traveling in early March. His scores were normally in the 80s or 90s and he noticed his readiness score dropped to 50 and that caused him to get tested. He was positive for coronavirus.”
At the matches in Orlando, only the players and staff who decide to wear the rings, will have their health data studied and assessed by the University of Michigan to help generate an overall wellness assessment of each person.
According to Oura, changes to users’ illness probability scores can indicate they may be at higher risk or showing signs of COVID-19. The accompanying app provides features such as meditation to reduce stress and anxiety. Another benefit of the ring is its sleep tracking feature.
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A team at Scripps Research is looking into the potential of the Oura ring, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin devices and others to see if they can accurately monitor a person’s baseline temperature, heart rate, sleep, and daily movement, and use changes in that data to detect the early onset of an infection, reports CNN.