NBA’s Oura Ring and the Future of Medical Data Reporting’

As the world grapples with the larger effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, accurate medical reporting has become more critical than ever before. In addition to using widely available technology such as infrared thermometers to track body temperature, institutions are now looking at advanced equipment to take the precision of their medical data a step further.

One such example recently came to light when the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the usage of Oura rings to track the health of its athletes.

The NBA is Using Oura Rings to Protect Players Amid an Unprecedented Season

After an abrupt halt to its season amid multiple players testing positive for COVID-19 in March 2020, the NBA is attempting to bring the sport back to life by the end of this July.

In addition to isolating players at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the NBA is taking extensive measures for medical reporting in order to keep players safe from the novel coronavirus.

This comprises thermometers for temperature tracking, pulse oximeters for oxygen saturation levels, and a proximity alarm to warn for physical distancing. But even among all of these measures, the Oura ring stands out as the most futuristic tracking tool in the NBA’s Disney bubble.

What is the Oura Ring and What Does It Do?

Built by a Finnish firm, the Oura ring was originally designed to serve as a sleep and activity tracker. As a wearable device that is worn on the fingers, its proprietary technology is able to track the wearer’s heart rate, temperature, and sleep schedule in order to keep vital information available at all times. Oura delivers this information to users through its mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

While these statistics provide the wearer with an accurate picture of key health factors, the Oura ring’s most advanced feature comes in the form of the “Readiness” score. As a compounded assessment of a user’s immediate health, the Readiness score is able to tell its wearers if they are experiencing any underlying changes to their vitals that indicate an oncoming health issue.

It’s this Readiness score that has been critical in identifying COVID-19 infections in Oura ring wearers. Initially noted by Oura ring users, this use case of the wearable device is now widely reported as being a highly accurate detector of the novel coronavirus.

According to research, the Oura ring could detect coronavirus symptoms up to three days in advance. To add to its efficacy, it could do so with an astounding accuracy rate of up to 90 percent.

What Does This Mean for Medical Data Reporting?

Even before COVID-19 made its presence known around the world, the importance of data-driven health sciences in the current day and age was projected as a key healthcare trend of 2020. It has become even more important in the light of the pandemic and the never seen before challenges that it brings to the table.

With the novel coronavirus vaccine projected to be released by 2021, medical data reporting and activity tracking is our next best hope of swiftly controlling the effects of the pandemic. It’s because having robust medical data reporting allows healthcare experts to be wary of new complications as well as possible prevention and treatment methods.

This is perhaps most evident in the usage of masks. At first, the practice of wearing masks had been widely argued against by experts due to a lack of data. But as medical reporting made it clear that masks could slow the spread of the virus, it’s now advised that the general public wears them whenever they are out of their home. This highlights the essential nature of medical data in current circumstances.

Everyday Individuals Are Set to Pay More Attention to Personal Medical Data

With wearable devices such as the Oura ring being able to detect physical changes before the user is able to feel them, the importance of medical data reporting has transcended beyond health experts or physicians. It is now being seen in an all new light by everyday individuals.

Since the tracking of vital statistics is not just limited to the Oura ring but could also be noticed through other wearables such as Fitbit and Apple Watch, it makes it easier for users to start paying more attention to their health.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the larger public health concerns that it has awoken globally, this spells new heights of attention for medical data reporting. With its increasing popularity, it is safe to say that this branch of healthcare may bring additional breakthroughs and widespread usage in the near future.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.