Image source: Oura

Frontline healthcare professionals put a smart ring on to predict COVID-19

The Oura ring is currently being trial tested by frontline healthcare professionals in the San Francisco area. Scientists hope to use the data to come up with an early detection diagnostic algorithm for COVID-19.

Essential readingSmart rings – jewellery, meet technologys

The research is being conducted by the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF), together with the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFGH) and Oura. Any medical care employee of UCSF or ZSFGH that is in contact with those displaying COVID-19 symptoms can participate in TemPredict.

Others can also join as long as they already own an Oura ring. There are some 150,000 people around the globe that own the device.

“The purpose of this study is to collect information from a wearable sensor that may allow researchers to develop an algorithm that can predict onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which can characterize COVID-19,” it says on the TemPredict page of UCSF SEA Lab’s website.

Oura ring is one of the most popular smart rings around. With no buttons to push, it automatically detects and analyzes the quality of sleep and recovery by measuring a user’s heart rate, pulse wave form, respiration rate, body temperature, movement and more. During the day the ring automatically measures physical activity and time spent sitting.

Smart rings: jewellery, meet technology
Image source: Oura

Healthcare employees will receive an Oura in the post (if they don’t already own one) and be required to wear the thing for 3 months. During this period scientists will assess data collected by the little device, along with daily participant symptom surveys. Some 2,000 medical workers in the San Francisco area are expected to participate.

The aim is to find out more on what happens internally once someone becomes infected with the COVID-19 disease. The ultimate goal is to come up with an early diagnostic algorithm. The disease has so far infected nearly half a million people globally, with the number increasing each day. 

There could already be some evidence that the ring might work. A Finnish Oura user claims the ring alerted him to the disease before he started displaying any overt symptoms.

If you own an Oura ring and would like to participate, an invite should be available in the Oura app. The other option is to sign up on this page.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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