Smart ring detects COVID-19 early

Researchers from West Virginia University (WVU) Medicine, led by the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI), have partnered with Oura Health to develop a biometrics platform that combines Oura data with AI models for just that purpose. According to WVU Medicine, the Oura smart ring is indeed suitable for detecting COVID-19 infection up to three days before symptoms appear.

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Source: Oura Health

One of the obstacles in fighting COVID-19 is that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus before they realize they are infected. “The holistic and integrated neuroscience platform developed by the RNI continuously monitors the human operating system, which allows for the accurate prediction of the onset of viral infection symptoms associated with COVID-19,” Ali Rezai, M.D., executive chair of the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said. “We feel this platform will be integral to protecting our healthcare workers, first responders, and communities as we adjust to life in the COVID-19 era.”

The platform uses the RNI app, the Oura Ring, and artificial intelligence (AI)guided models to forecast and predict the onset of COVID-19 related symptoms (e.g. fevers, coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue, and others) three days in advance with over 90 percent accuracy. This technology can potentially serve as a critical decision making tool to help contain the spread of the virus, safely re-open communities, strengthen the economy, and facilitate public health containment strategies.

The neuroscience-based study monitors individuals holistically – integrating physiologic measures with psychological, cognitive, and behavioral biometrics. Participants use the RNI’s mobile app to track indicators such as stress, anxiety, memory, and other human resilience and recovery functions. Physiological data, such as the onset of increased body temperature, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep and activity patterns, and “readiness” – a health metric combining long-term sleep and activity trends with short-term behaviors – is monitored through the Oura Ring.

The first phase of this study was launched in collaboration with Oura Health and is currently deployed in more than 600 healthcare professionals and first responders. The RNI is working with national partners and plans to quickly scale this effort to more than 10,000 participants.

This early result represents an advancement in public health, leveraging readily available wearable devices with AI-guided models that can provide timely insights to drive health and wellness decisions. This 24/7 non-intrusive, secure, and safe monitoring capability allows for the RNI team to predict the onset of symptoms and recovery.

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