Many studies are done daily with the aim of detecting the virus in the early phase of infection! That is, before antibodies even appear. It is thought that this will prevent infecting others, since many people who carry the virus do not even know it.
A new study will evaluate a smart ring named "Oura ring" that measures people's temperatures in an effort to identify people who have the new coronavirus in the early stages of the disease.
More than 2,000 medical service workers at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital will wear Oura rings as part of the study. The rings will be given to emergency services workers who come into contact with patients who may carry the COVID-19 virus. Study-qualified employees will be asked to wear an Oura Ring for three months, complete daily questionnaires to report whether they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and share health data collected by the Ring with Oura.
Oura rings, marketed as sleep detectors, monitor a user's heart rate, respiratory rate and changes in body temperature. The devices have not yet proven useful for detecting COVID-19, but the data they collect could eventually be used to help predict the disease.
The researchers hope to develop an algorithm based on data acquired from the ring that could detect COVID-19 early. It's not the only device that could help: the Kinsa health company uses data from its smart thermometers to monitor the spread of influenza in the USA, and there is evidence that its thermometers may be able to select areas of the country where there are COVID-19 outbreaks before reporting confirmed cases.
Watch the video below to find out how useful the ring is.