NBA Offers Players Smart Rings to Detect Early COVID-19 Symptoms

Water-resistant and durable smart rings are both stylish and could save lives in the court.
Fabienne Lang
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As the world of live sports has ground to a screeching halt over the past few months, many have been cheering at the prospect of watching at least one sport pick up again: basketball

As the NBA is in talks to restart its season on July 30 at Disney World near Orlando, details of how it'll do so safely are starting to leak out. One such method is using Oura rings, which may help to detect symptoms early. 


One ring to rule them all

According to the Athletic, specifics of how the season will kick start again have been laid out in a paper called "Life inside the Bubble," in which descriptions of how testing plans will be carried out, what quarantine regulations will be followed, etc, are being added.

NBA Offers Players Smart Rings to Detect Early COVID-19 Symptoms
The Oura ring, Source: Oura

One such proposal is wearing Oura smart rings. These wearables not only look cool, they pick up on small internal details early on. As per one study led by researchers at West Virginia University's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, a combination of physiological data captured from the rings and its digital platform caught from its wearers through in-app surveys gives the ring a 90% accuracy rate of catching early symptoms of COVID-19 three days in advance. 

The titanium second-generation Oura ring is water-resistant, weighs only four to six grams (size-dependant), and can last up to seven days on one charge. It then takes around 80 minutes to fully charge up again through its wireless inductive charging plate. 

The rings act similarly to fitness bands or trackers worn on wrists or around the chest. What's great about the rings, though, is that they can be worn 24/7 and can store up to six weeks' worth of data. The study tested its capabilities on 600 health care workers and is ramping up to include thousands more of participants. 

With regards to NBA players, using the rings will be optional. Moreover, as per ESPN, even if players wear the rings, team personnel won't have access to their data unless an "illness probability score" is picked up. 

Plans are still being finalized, so we'll have to wait and see what happens. One things' for sure, however, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets won't be joining this season.

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