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Researchers want to use a smart ring to predict coronavirus symptoms

The only way to diagnose the novel coronavirus infection correctly is with a specialized type of test. A swab from your mouth or nose is enough to detect the presence of a viral load. A second test can look for COVID-19 antibodies in your blood and determine whether your immune system has fought off the infection — or whether it’s just starting to fight it. But there aren’t enough tests to go around, and you need to meet specific criteria to get a test in some countries. As for immunity tests, they’ve yet to be widely deployed, with the CDC set to approve one in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 has some specific signs, but not all patients exhibit them. And the most common ones are also common to the flu. Add to that the fact that the novel coronavirus is infectious even in people who have no symptoms, and that the incubation period is quite long, and you end up with a huge problem. Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan,Germany, and Iceland proved how critical it is to conduct large testing campaigns. But finding COVID-19 patients early is difficult without tests. That’s where a wearable company might help, as researchers are trying to determine whether a smart ring can help them predict the outbreak of COVID-19 in healthcare workers.

The $299 Oura Ringis the device in question. Unlike other wearables and smartwatches, the ring can monitor a few additional health parameters. The device can “capture body signals like resting heart rate, [heart rate variability], body temperature, and calorie burn,” according to the company. One thing that stands out is the fever sensor, which can detect changes in temperature. We already know that fever is a common COVID-19 symptom.


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