The NBA league was officially suspended way back on March 12 after Ruby Gobert tested positive for Covid-19. With no games or practice permitted, it’s been a devastating blow for the NBA. However, plans are now taking shape to restart the season with the NBA issuing a 100-page memo with an action plan. As usual these days, technology will play a big part. In this case, the memo proposes it will be in the form of Oura, a smart ring.
Oura – The Smart Ring
The Oura ring has actually been around a while, launched in early 2018 by Finnish company Oura Health Ltd. Oura Health claims the ring is the world’s first wellness ring and app. The ring tracks various indicators surrounding your body’s health and well being then stores and analyses in the accompanying app. It uses infrared LED’s, NTC temperature sensors, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope – all bundled into a ring to be worn on your finger. All these advanced sensors will monitor your heart rate, HRV, temperature, steps, sleep and many other things.
- Made from Titanium with a scratch resistant diamond-like carbon coating
- Water resistant up top 100m
- Free IOS & Android app
- Compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit
- Maximum 80 minute charge gives 1 week of battery life
- Stores up to 6 weeks of data
- Low-Energy Smart Bluetooth connectivity
- Weighs between 4-6 grams(depending on size)
The Oura ring mobile app has all the features that you would expect from a health and well-being hardware-software combo. Here a some of the features you can expect
Three daily scores — Sleep, Activity, and Readiness — give you a clear understanding of the state of your body with actionable guidance on how to improve
Unrivaled Sleep Monitoring
See your sleep stages — REM, deep, light — and a personalized Sleep Score each morning. Discover your ideal bedtime.
Dynamic Activity Progress
Measure your steps, monitor your inactive time, and reach dynamic activity goals based on your readiness
Apple Health & Google Fit
Automatically sync your workouts from your favourite fitness apps through Apple Health and Google Fit.
If you are liking what you are seeing then the Oura Ring starts at $299 and can be bought directly from their website.
Why Does The NBA Want To Use The Oura Smart Ring?
The NBA, like all sporting bodies around the world are desperate to get their associated leagues back up and running again. Obviously they have to do this in a safe and controlled way amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Unlike other wearable health gadgets, the Oura Ring can monitor body temperature and respiratory function, giving it great potential in identifying Covid-19 symptoms. Oura Health recognised this quickly and partnered with West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute to carry out nationwide tests for the Oura Ring to be used as a screening tool for Covid-19. The testing began in April and early indications show it can detect COVID-19 symptoms up to three days before symptoms appear with a 90% accuracy rating.
The impressive accuracy of the ring is why the NBA is keen to utilize it. The NBA wants players to each wear the ring when not on the courts. Enabling the tracking of the player’s health in this way is seen as a great way of preventing potential spread by testing and implementing isolation quickly. The players have been assured that any biometric data gathered will be kept strictly private. It has been reported that not all players are keen on the notion, but in a situation like this surely this isn’t such a big hindrance or sacrifice. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that to get the league up and running again will ‘entail enormous sacrifice for everyone involved’
You Can Help Too
It’s worth mentioning that the NBA is encouraging players to wear the ring but they have the option not to. Also worth noting is that whilst the initial test results have been promising, there is still more data required to fully confirm the Oura Ring’s effectiveness. UCSF Health and Oura are teaming up to study whether Oura can provide signals that predict COVID-19 illness symptoms in the future. Oura is inviting all users to join the study. Find out more here.
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