As the NBA gears up for its proposed July return, the league is looking to use technology to monitor players' COVID-19 symptoms. According to CNBC, players will begin wearing "smart rings" that can track symptoms up to three days in advance. The report states that the new "Oura smart ring is capable of predicting COVID-19 symptoms up to 3 days in advance with 90% accuracy. The ring can measure body temperature, respiratory functions, and heart rate."
The company that developed the Oura ring initially set out to create a sleep tracker, but soon found out the metrics could help identify coronavirus. According to the University of California, San Francisco roughly 2,000 medical workers were given the Oura ring and directed to complete daily surveys to analyze their health. The study's objective was to “observe associations between dermal body temperature, heart rate, and related metrics, and the onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which can characterize COVID-19.” However, the findings from the UCSF study were incomplete by the time Oura Ring was contracted by the NBA.
West Virginia Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute conducted a similar study and found the Oura Ring was 90% accurate in predicting COVID-19. But the study was carried out in conjunction with Oura Health which raises suspicion for the apparent conflict of interest.
For those interested, the Oura Ring is reportedly on sale for $299.