Technology is going to play a big part in how the NBA plans to reduce the spread of Covid-19 when they resume their season next month in Orlando.
According to the NBA’s health and safety memo for the restart of the season, every player will receive an Oura “smart” ring, a $300 fitness tracker that might be able to serve as an early warning system for COVID-19.
NBA players will wear a ‘smart ring’ at Disney world, per https://t.co/UCLdrFVMWo
The 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. pic.twitter.com/pYYIqOLDbZ
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 18, 2020
One of the tools the NBA will use with players is a “smart ring” that players will wear during their time at Disney World. The ring can measure body temperature, respiratory functions and heart rate, which are all things that can signal whether or not someone is sick. All players and essential staff members will be given the option to participate in health monitoring using the ring. The titanium rings, reportedly made by Oura, are capable of predicting COVID-19 symptoms up to three days in advance with 90% accuracy, according to the company.
The data will be studied and assessed by the University of Michigan to help generate an overall wellness assessment of each person. The memo said that players will have full access to all data collected on them, but team staff will only have access in circumstances where the player’s illness probability score indicates he may be at higher risk or is showing signs of coronavirus
According to Dr. Ali Rezai of West Virginia’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, the Oura smart ring will not directly detect if someone has Coronavirus but can detect if someone is falling ill which would encourage them to get tested.
We can predict three days in advance your actual temperature with 95% accuracy, we can predict the onset of fatigue, we can predict the onset of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing and headaches,” said Dr. Ali Rezai, who leads the team at West Virginia’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.
“We don’t know yet if we can tell the difference between a COVID-19 infection and, say, a regular flu virus or some Rhino virus infection,” Rezai said. “A worst-case scenario is we can just tell if you’re getting sick. Without knowing what kind of virus, we still think that’s pretty darn useful in a pandemic.”
NBA players aren’t the only ones to test out the ring’s capabilities. Several Las Vegas casinos are set to give their employees Oura smart rings in an attempt to detect Covid-19 infections quickly.
Las Vegas Sands using the Oura ring for its employees, too. CEO of @Ouraring tells me he expects ~10 enterprise deals by Christmas.
Covid-detecting ‘smart rings’ to be trialled by staff at Las Vegas resort https://t.co/pwYqhJGBqx
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) June 17, 2020
There’s a good chance these rings become a hot commodity over the summer.