A smart wearable has usually been associated with keeping health in check. However, this is via elements that can be monitored like heart-rate, how much you’ve walked, elevation and more. However, a smart ring called Oura may be able to help people detect early symptoms of the Coronavirus disease. Also Read - Apple is 'scrambling' to avoid delayed iPhone launch due to Coronavirus: Report
Based out of the University of California, San Francisco, the Oura smart ring can monitor elements like body temperature and conduct a daily symptom survey. This may help users detect the early onset of COVID-19. Early detection would allow users to self-isolate and prioritize treatment. This is especially important for healthcare workers on the front line that may be in contact with the novel coronavirus. Also Read - Coronavirus: How you can donate to the PM CARES fund easily
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Over 2,000 health care workers will be taking part in a study to confirm the same. The goal of the study, which is 3-months long is to develop an algorithm that can predict the illness. The algorithm could be then applied to other wearable devices as well. “It may be the case that different wearables would benefit from different algorithms, but we don’t know what the primary variables are in the algorithm yet,” said Ashley Mason, the lead researcher for the study. Also Read - Coronavirus: How tech companies are fighting against the pandemic
The Oura ring features a bunch of sensors including infrared LEDs, an accelerometer, three temperature sensors, and a gyroscope. It is capable of tracking vitals like heart-rate and your respiration-rate via your finger. Unlike other fitness bands or smartwatches, the ring can take readings through the day and night. “If you compare those averages it actually ends up being a passive way, and we believe may be a more informative way, to track changes in your health,” said Oura CEO Harpreet Rai.
Users around the world are also invited by Oura to take part in the study by opting in and completing daily surveys. These include documenting any symptoms like a cough or fever. Sponsoring the study, Aura has also provided 2,000 rings to UCSF health care workers.