The Duxbury Fire Department in Duxbury, Massachusetts, will be outfitting its firefighters with biometric Oura rings to monitor their health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA has made the rings available to basketball players in the league’s bubble in Orlando, although Duxbury is the first fire department to take advantage of the new technology.
“I wanted to give the men and women another tool to keep them healthy,” said Duxbury Fire Chief Kevin Nord. He indicated that more than 90 percent of the department has voluntarily agreed to wear the Oura rings, but stressed that doing so is not mandatory.
The Oura rings are able to track the wearer’s temperature, which means that they will be able to tell whether or not a firefighter has a fever and could be infected with COVID-19. However, the rings also measure other vital signs like pulse and sleep cycles, giving them ongoing utility as a general health tracker once the coronavirus has passed. Wearers can sync the ring to their smartphones to view their readings and keep tabs on their health.
The department obtained the Oura rings for less than $300 apiece. Oura received $28 million in a round of Series B funding in March, and later contributed to an academic study that suggested that the rings could serve as an early warning system for COVID-19. The ring already had the support of high-profile athletes like Lance Armstrong and Shaquille O’Neal.
Source: 7 News Boston
July 31, 2020 – by Eric Weiss