A body-temperature tracking smart ring can identify possible COVID-19 cases before external symptoms appear, a new study has found.
The Finnish startup Oura had developed the ring in question, which may detect sicknesses “better” than a thermometer, enabling early isolation, testing, and infectious-disease curbing, the University of California San Franciso (UCSF) reported.
In the UC San Francisco and UC San Diego-led study, data gathered from people wearing the £270 device recognized accurately when a ring-wearer was coronavirus-infected, even when “no infection was suspected,” according to the Independent. Researchers from both Universities identified that the ring could detect “subtle symptoms” in more than “three-quarters” of participants, who then “subsequently” tested COVID-19 positive.
The investigation, published in Scientific Reports, a journal, on Monday, is part of “a broader observational study” that will examine biometric information gathered from more than 65,000 Oura-using volunteers worldwide through the ring’s companion app, the Independent reported.
According to further reporting by the Independent, 10-70% of COVID-infected individuals lack outward symptoms for the first few days post-infection when they are also the most infectious. Lack of early detection when infected individuals are asymptomatic — something the ring makers seek to mitigate — has enabled COVID-19’s prolific proliferation.
“The hope is that people infected with Covid will be able to prepare and isolate sooner, call their doctor sooner, notify any folks they’ve been in contact with sooner, and not spread the virus,” said Ashley Mason, an investigator in the study.
The researchers desire to create a “warning system” that will ask a user to complete a “self-collection Covid-19 test” when early warning signs manifest, according to the Independent.