How Does the Oura Ring Work?

Wearable health tracking devices are exploding in popularity. Developments in consumer technology have provided easy and affordable access to personal wellness metrics, and millions are taking the opportunity to optimize their routines. Smart bands and other wrist monitors are perhaps the most common way for people to track everything from their step count to their heart rate, but other options are on the rise. Turns out, you can get your personalized health stats without the watch tan.

Curious? Read on to learn more.  

Introducing the Oura Ring

The Oura ring is a small titanium health tracking device designed to be worn on your finger so it can monitor and analyze your sleep, among other features. Priced at $299, it is on the more expensive end of the pricing spectrum for such devices, and it is famously worn by high-status individuals like Jack Dorsey and Prince Harry. The ring pairs with a smartphone app so users can see their personalized, precise biodata at any time and make changes to their habits accordingly.

In the early days of the pandemic, the Oura ring was touted for its ability to detect COVID-19 in wearers before they began to show symptoms. The ring’s temperature monitoring proved effective in illness detection in a University of California, San Francisco study where it spotted pre-symptomatic signs of fever in 76% of COVID cases. In response, the NBA bought thousands of Oura rings for the players as part of its comeback program. Even NASCAR was on board, buying rings for drivers and staff.

The growing popularity of wearable health devices and celebrity endorsements certainly contributed to the Oura’s immediate success, but plenty of people are still wondering: How does the Oura ring work, and how is it different from other health trackers? Let’s dive in.  

Getting Started with the Oura Ring

Before getting your very own Oura ring, the company will send a sizing kit with a range of dummy rings and ask you to wear the most well-fitting one for 24 hours. Your fingers swell in your sleep and while working out, so a full day and night of testing can help you determine which size is best. The real deal will arrive after you send the sizing kit back, and then you’ll spend two weeks wearing it so it can establish your baseline biodata. You’ll also connect the ring with the Oura app, where you’ll view your biodata and other resources.

How Does the Oura Ring Work?

The Oura ring is equipped with two infrared light photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors, two negative thermal coefficient body temperature sensors, a 3D accelerometer, and a gyroscope. What does all that mean? In short, the ring continuously measures your pulse—from the arteries in your fingers, rather than from the capillaries in your wrist—and your skin temperature. The PPG sensors can also reach deeper than the green light LEDs found in other wearable health devices. As a result, you get more accurate measurements that provide granular insights into your body’s status at any given time.

Oura simplifies your personalized biodata into three scores: Readiness, Sleep, and Activity. Your Readiness score predicts your physical, mental, and emotional capacity for performance. Your Sleep score offers insights into your sleep quality, and the app provides advice for better sleep and bedtime guidance. And you Activity score takes inactivity periods, daily goals, and

movement tracking into account so you can optimize your physical activity to rest ratio.

It prioritizes nighttime measurements because daytime measurements are more likely to be influenced by external factors, such as work stress and lifestyle fluctuations. During the day, Oura tracks activity levels, caloric intake, steps, and rest periods like naps. But take a look at what Oura measures at night:

  • Resting heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Body temperature & variations
  • Sleep stages (Awake, Light, Deep, REM)
  • Sleep timing, duration, and quality
  • Movement during sleep

All of this biodata is transmitted and recorded in the Oura ring companion app, where information is neatly presented as deviations from the norm rather than as a cacophony of numbers. You won’t be able to swipe through your stats on the device itself, but users find the lightweight and unobtrusive design to be a fair tradeoff. Plus, everything is personalized to your own unique baseline, and the sensors are incredibly accurate.  

Together, all the metrics Oura tracks present a holistic view of your well being so you can understand your body’s signals and make adjustments for better health. Additionally, Oura has integrations with other popular wellness platforms so you can import your biodata and keep track of it all in one place.

Connect Your Oura Ring with ModoBio

What if all your biodata from your wearable health devices and all your apps was in one place, where you could connect with other health and wellness professionals to make the most of your biodata to improve personal well being? ModoBio connects with personal fitness, nutrition, health and wellness devices that you love and use daily to help users leverage the benefits of the biodata provided by these devices to improve personal health and wellness. Learn more.

Here’s How You Can Use Wearables to Track Your Eating Habits

Endless research proves the impact of diet on overall wellness, leading millions of people to track their eating habits at some point during their fitness journeys. Many have tried their hands at pen-and-paper food diaries but found them to be boring or time-consuming, and they give up before making the habit stick. Even nutrition apps can lose their luster, as the manual data entry is more of a commitment than some people are willing to make.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to track your eating habits: wearables. Wearable devices are primed to support diet-conscious consumers with their lifestyle changes without the time and effort required for earlier food monitoring methods. Thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of wearable options from wristbands to tooth-mounted sensors. And all offer invaluable biodata that you can use to improve your process and fine-tune your method to maximize results.

Smart Bands

HEALBE’s GoBe3 is touted as “The world’s first smart band to track calorie intake, body hydration, and stress levels automatically” and claims to be the only nutrition-control smart band on the market. The device uses a proprietary technology (called FLOW™) to track your biodata without any manual data entry. Like other fitness devices, the GoBe3 tracks heart rate, steps, sleep, and stress levels, but what makes it shine is its nutrition tracking features. It can accurately calculate your calorie intake and provide a complete overview of the nutrition information after eating—just by tracking through the skin.

How can a wearable device possibly be so advanced? The human body gives off signals of digestion, which starts when consumed food reaches the intestines, where enzymes break it down. Your body quickly absorbs carbohydrates, which spike your glucose levels, and more slowly absorbs proteins and fats. Glucose and water then get absorbed by the cells. The GoBe3 uses a bioimpedance sensor that sends low-frequency signals through the skin to track how this liquid moves and calculate your caloric intake and macronutrient breakdown.    

Tooth-Mounted Sensors

When your teeth are such an integral part of eating, it makes sense to consider them as the focal point of a wearable nutrition device. That’s the idea behind the wearables by Tufts University’s School of Engineering, which are tooth-mounted sensors that can wirelessly transmit food intake data to your mobile device. They can track glucose, alcohol, and salt and help users (such as diabetics) better balance their diets.

The sensor is designed to adapt to a tooth’s uneven surface and is composed of three layers. Its outer layers are gold rings, while a “bioresponsive” layer in the middle absorbs nutrients and other chemicals. Together, the layers act like an antenna transmitting data about the chemicals they were exposed to. The news release explains: “If the central layer takes on salt, or ethanol, its electrical properties will shift, causing the sensor to absorb and transmit a different spectrum of radio-frequency waves, with varying intensity. That is how nutrients and other analytes can be detected and measured.”

Anaphylaxis Prevention Systems

Though eating the right foods is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s just as critical to stay away from the foods that can negatively impact your health. Specifically, people with food allergies should take great care to monitor their intake so they can avoid anaphylactic shock. But how can young children take the appropriate precautionary measures when they don’t fully understand the effects of their allergies?

Solutions provider Aibi confronted this issue and designed a wearable band that continually monitors histamines using light‑sensitive photodiodes and can quickly detect signs of allergies. The wearable can connect to multiple devices and alert caregivers in the earliest stage of anaphylaxis before severe symptoms set in. Aibi’s system also includes a redesigned epinephrine auto-injector that’s more user-friendly and portable. For adults, the Allergy Amulet comes as a necklace, bracelet, watch, or keychain and has disposable test strips that can detect common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.

Skin Patches

Similar to how the GoBe3 tracks biodata through the skin, smart patches can analyze biomarkers through the skin to provide information about your body at the molecular level. This breakthrough technology, created by Melbourne-based Nutronics, is useful both for detecting pre-diabetes and for helping Type 2 diabetics manage their condition. Because nutrition plays such a vital role in normalizing pre-diabetes and controlling existing diabetes, the smart patch analyzes food intake and offers diet modifications based on the data it collects.

What makes this device especially noteworthy is its personalized information. Two people could eat the exact same meal, but the effects on their bodies could be completely different. Therefore, generic nutrition advice wouldn’t be helpful, nor would rough estimates. The Nutronics smart patch is still in research phases, but it could prove to be a game-changer.

Connect Your Wearable Nutrition Trackers with ModoBio

What if all your biodata from your wearable nutrition trackers and all your apps was in one place, where you could connect with other health and wellness professionals to make the most of your biodata to improve personal wellbeing?

Modo Bio connects with personal fitness, nutrition, health and wellness devices that you love and use daily to help users leverage the benefits of the biodata provided by these devices to improve personal health and wellness. Learn more.