Smart ring from Finland noticed in U.S
Oura Health was founded in Oulu, Finland in 2013 and its main product is a smart ring called Oura.
This smart ring measures different things of its user, main ones being sleep, quality of sleep, body temperature, pulse, activity, and non-activity. Based on the collected data it recommends changes to the user to improve their life, for example, to get to bed earlier to get enough sleep, or just simply get up and move more during the day.
The ring has been on the market for couple of years and many celebrities have been seen wearing it, including Prince Harry. However, majority of the users are just regular people, tells Harpeet Singh Rai, the CEO of Oura Health in the interview done for Helsingin Sanomat (entire article here ).
People are interested about their health and with Oura ring, the data is more reachable and changes can be made faster. Oura also measures the user’s body temperature and during this pandemic year, that feature brough the company new business opportunities. In the spring of 2020 Oura announced that they were looking into how the ring can be used to possibly detect coronavirus, simply by monitoring changing in the user’s body temperature. This announcement intrigued the basketball league NBA and they ordered 2,000 rings for the players and staff. Approximately 25% of the players used the ring during the season, while they were inside of the Covid-bubble, tells the article in Helsingin Sanomat.
Oura has been noticed in North-America, where their main market focus is, and for example Time Magazine listed the ring on their top 100 most interesting inventions list. The casinos in Las Vegas got interested of the ring too and they ordered it for some of the staff members to observe their health.
Oura is part of two different Covid-19 researches.
University of California, in San Francisco (UCSF) ordered the ring for their employees and at the same time the hospital started a research with Oura, which they invited all the users to take part in. The goal of the research is to get enough data to create an algorithm to help identify earlier symptoms of Covid infection.
The second research is done at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) and this research focuses on connecting the ring with an app that asks the user about their symptoms e.g. tiredness, coughing, and difficulties of breathing. The results of the research have been promising so far.
Rising temperature could be the first symptom of a possible COVID-19 infection and since the ring measures the user’s body temperature, the research indicated that the user might be alerted as early as 3 days earlier of their possible infection. However, the company wants to emphasize that these results are not 100% and the ring is not designed to give you a definite answer if you have COVID-19 or not.
The ring does collect a lot of data of the user; however, the company follows the strict rules of EU regarding sharing the data. At the end of the day, each user owns their own information, and they decide what they want to share.
Browsing through the Oura website you can find all their features, however, to me the most interesting ones were that the rings are made in Finland, they are light weight and made of titanium. It doesn’t scratch easily, and it is waterproof so you can swim and shower with it. If you are thinking of getting one, but not sure what your size is, not to worry, they will send you a ring sizing kit to determine, which size would be the best for you. The battery life lasts for about a week and charging takes only about an hour.
You could compare the ring to FitBit and to Apple watch, however, you wear both these on your wrist. Motiv Ring is a direct competitor, being also a ring, however, Motiv is more focused on activity whereas Oura measures your temperature and focuses more on sleep and the quality of it.
This Finnish invention is smart, no doubt about it, and perhaps one day it will be able to answer a simple question if we have Covid or not.
Get smart with Oura – You can buy it from here: Oura Health