Ourthe company behind the Oura Ring line of wearable devices today announced that the blood oxygen measurement is rolled out to the Third Generation Oura Ring. It’s a long time coming — Oura previewed the feature last fall. But Oura, who claims the wait was worth it, says oxygen tracking can provide owners of its latest flagship product with a “more comprehensive assessment of sleep health and physiology.”
The third-generation Oura Ring measures blood oxygen, or SpO2, via red and infrared LED sensors that shine light into a wearer’s finger and use the bounced reflections to estimate how much oxygen is in the blood. Oxygenated blood reflects more red light than infrared light, while deoxygenated blood tends to reflect more infrared light than red light.
The technique is called pulse oximetry and has long been an integral part of wearable devices from Fitbit, Garmin, Apple, Withings and others. Some studies have shown that pulse oximetry is relatively accurate. But experts warn against it not clinical. (In a blog post describing the new SpO2 feature, Oura is quick to note that the readings provided by the Oura ring are not intended to diagnose conditions.)
Oura overlays two metrics on the Oura ring’s blood oxygen readings: average blood oxygen and breathing regularity. Average blood oxygen estimates the percentage of oxygen in the blood, while respiration regularity attempts to detect “unusual” breathing patterns – ie a drop in blood oxygen levels – during the night or a nap of more than three hours.
Average blood oxygen and respiration regularity measurements are enabled by default. They can be switched off in the blood oxygen measurement settings in the main menu of the Oura app; Oura notes that the third-gen Oura Ring’s battery life “may be a little shorter than usual” when measurements are active.
The arrival of blood oxygen measurement follows a series of ups and downs for the Oura ring. When the Smart Ring debuted last fall, Oura revealed that unlocking certain features would require subscribing to a $6-a-month plan. Few of these features were available at launch, which left customers frustrated — Oura previewed updated sleep-tracking algorithms and heart-rate tracking for workouts, but delayed release.
Despite internal instability (the CEO resigned in December), Oura is making efforts to get the ship back on track. Late last year, the company announced it would defer the aforementioned subscription fee by six months. And the improved heart rate tracking landed in May with the improved sleep tracking algorithms intended come this fall. Hopefully that’s some consolation for the early adopters.
The third-gen Oura Ring can now measure the oxygen levels in your blood – TechCrunch Source link The third-gen Oura Ring can now measure the oxygen levels in your blood – TechCrunch