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NBA players to wear 'smart ring' to monitor Covid-19 symptoms

NBA players will be asked to wear a smart ring capable of detecting Covid-19 symptoms upon the resumption of the season next month at Orlando's Disney World.

The Oura smart ring is said to be able to predict Covid-19 symptoms up to three days in advance at 90 per cent accuracy. The ring does this by measuring body temperature, respiratory functions and heart rate.

The NBA season is set to resume on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The players will also be staying at the various Disney resorts in order to form a safety bubble to minimise contact with as little players as possible.

The brand, Oura, designed their rings primarily for the purpose of tracking fitness levels and sleeping patterns but partnered with the NBA to produce this device which can be purchased outside of the Basketball world in the price range of $299-$399.

According to the NBA’s health and safety handbook, players will receive a number of different pieces of technology that can be used to help prevent the spread of the virus and ensure that they will be as safe as possible. These include a Magic Band that will have to be worn at all times to get through checkpoints and into rooms, a proximity alarm that will sound when players are too close to each other for too long a period and of course the Oura smart ring which will be optional although recommended to be worn.

The ring will provide data that can be accessed by the players, but they will be studied by scientists from the University of Michigan who will monitor the symptoms.

Dr. Ali Rezai, Executive chair of the West Virginia University's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, told GQ: "If we can provide insight into asymptomatic people who may be spreading the virus and help with earlier detection with this technology, it can inform better decision making, facilitate safety, and prioritize who gets testing and other health containment strategies.”

Author: Jake Wilkin