Researchers want to predict the course of covid-19 with smart ring

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Researchers at the University of California want to predict symptoms of covid-19 with the Oura smart ring. With this they hope to develop an algorithm that can identify the course of the disease. 2000 hospital employees are taking part in the study.

For the study, the researchers will combine data from the smart ring with daily surveys about the possible symptoms of the respondents. With that information, the researchers hope to be able to develop an algorithm that recognizes patterns of the disease. Specifically, the scientists want to be able to predict the onset of the disease, then its progression, and then a patient’s recovery.

The UCSF TemPredict study will consist of two research groups. The study starts with more than 2000 hospital employees who are in daily contact with Covid-19 patients, including doctors and nurses. These employees work in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, these include the UCSF Medical Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

These employees will be given the Oura smart ring, which the researchers will use to monitor the difference in body temperature, respiration and heart rhythm. The researchers hope that the employees will soon realize through the ring when they may have contracted the disease. That way, those employees can take ‘the right steps’ more quickly, according to the press release.

The second research group is the approximately 150,000 users of the Oura ring, who can participate in the research through registration. These users can complete a daily survey, which the researchers will combine with their Oura data. Oura writes that if this part of the study proves successful, they may want to do it more often in the future for other diseases.

The University of California is sponsored for the study by Oura, the Finnish company that markets the smart ring of the same name. This ring can track the user’s heart rate, movements and temperature, in order to give an idea of ​​the user’s health. The ring can be linked to an app that provides insight into, among other things, health and sleep history.

As for sensors, the ring has infrared LEDs, NTC temperature sensors, an accelerometer and a gyroscope. The ring is made of titanium and weighs ‘less than 7.1 grams’. The battery can be charged in one hour, after which the Oura can work for up to seven days. The ring is wirelessly charged and, according to Oura, is ‘waterproof to 100M’, which probably means a depth of 100 meters. The smart ring is for sale via the Oura site for 314 euros.

Oura is not the first company to try to gain more clarity about the corona virus with smart devices. For example, the maker of smart thermometers Kinsa has published a map with all fever symptoms in the United States. That writes Cnet, among others. The company emphasizes that it is not a map of all cases of Covid-19, but that there is a strong correlation between atypical symptoms and positive Covid-19 tests.

For the card, the company uses anonymized data from the 1 million Kinsa users. The manufacturer hopes the map will act as a ‘guide’ to medical services, helping them identify areas most affected more quickly.

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