Ōura Is Keeping the Pulse on Health for Every Body – celebritiestalks
As today’s wellness consumers continue to become more conscious about daily habits, in addition to activity and fitness, the Ōura Ring has been a standout in the wearable technology space. Built on a vision to empower people to take charge of their own health, the Ōura Ring goes beyond what fitness wearables on the market offer, delivering personalized health data, insights and daily guidance to its loyal customers.
Founded in 2015 amid other heart-tracking wearables, the Ōura Ring differentiated itself simply with its ring design in contrast to the many watches and other wrist trackers on the market. More importantly, Ōura took a new approach by focusing on sleep first.
“We started with sleep and that was really key,” said Tom Hale, chief executive officer of Ōura. “Sleep tracking is important for a lot of different reasons, but maybe the most important one is that sleep is the foundation of health. It’s like a universal good, whether or not you’re trying to stay healthy or exercise and get fit or even manage your appetite.”
The ring, he said proved incredibly effective for tracking sleep, calling out features including its lightweight, lack of screen and overall passive standing. Moreover, the location of the tracker on the finger allows for the most accurate data. The ring’s battery is also engineered to last for about seven days, so the wearer rarely needs to take it off for charging.
Notably, heart rate is just one of the metrics being collected by the Ōura ring. In addition, data on temperature, heart rate variability (HRV), activity and sleep are collected and shared with its wearer in personalized health metrics summarized into three scores: readiness, sleep and activity.
“One of the things that’s most interesting about Ōura is that it learns you in the first couple of weeks it starts to understand your baselines, and then can look for deviations and those baselines high or low and give you advice and insights about something changing,” Hale said. “For example, not everybody has a temperature of 98.6 degrees. Some people have higher temperatures, some people have lower temperatures. So, when you go to the doctor and he takes your temperature, he might not actually know what’s going on and your temperature changes all the time.”
Moreover, Hale said, Ōura recognizes that there are factors, such as exercise and menstrual cycle, that elevate temperature while temperature levels dip during sleep. Many people have reported being updated with information from Ōura that let them know they had COVID-19 earlier than they would have otherwise known.
With an already stellar reputation for sleep tracking, Ōura continues to push its capabilities forward in this area. A recent introduction is the technology’s new sleep staging algorithm, which Hale told celebritiestalks is the most accurate in the world. To put it in place, Ōura’s team collected data from 1,000 nights of sleep across a large population and looked for variations in age, gender, ethnicity and location. The testing was validated through hardware and software processes for a gold standard of results.
Designed to think about the holistic health journey, Hale said that the Ōura ring can be beneficial for everyone though there are a few segments that are more targeted. Unsurprisingly, many athletes have been vocal about their love of the Ōura ring to optimize recovery and get into the best training schedule. Tracking HRV has been crucial here for predicting how recovered the wearer is in real time. Another segment is women who are thinking about getting pregnant. In partnership with Natural Cycles, the FDA-cleared birth control app, users can determine daily fertility status.
Hale said that a big segment of Ōura ring users are also those who are simply looking to optimize their sleep, which tends to be people a bit older. “Interestingly enough, as you get into your 40s your sleep starts to go a little bit off. Sometimes that can be a really good predictor of someone who might see benefit from an Ōura ring. Another one is people entering their 50s and are trying to think about the longevity that they want to have a good long healthy life. They’ll use the Ōura ring to monitor and manage their health, particularly their current health.”
Women’s health in particular is an area that Ōura has been pushing its technology further. Hale said that it’s been eye-opening to see that so much science and medicine is based on data that was taken from men when a woman’s physiology is extremely different. Dr. Kiara King and Dr. Christine Sterling are two of the advisers leading Ōura’s research in this area and pinpointing what wearables can tell women throughout their cycle.
“We call it giving every body a voice,” Hale said. The research will look at not just cycle patterns but also understanding how physiology changes during pregnancy and perimenopause and menopause. “Being able to give both scientific understanding and also feedback and measurements that are about these changes that are going on, we really are pressing forward the frontier of knowledge around women’s health and what a wearable can tell a woman about the changes in her body. I think this is a really compelling area for more, not because it’s just something that we want to do, but because there’s so little understanding of a woman’s physiology, and we’re really breaking new ground here.”
Something that takes Ōura a step further, though, is not only its high level of attention to getting quality data and metrics but feeding it to the consumer in a way that is digestible and actionable. Because the metrics are personalized they can also provide behavior suggestions. And this software experience, said Hale, will continue to be a focus for the company, pointing out that Ōura’s tone can also be a bit different as it leans into a softer, more supportive voice than perhaps a coach who is trying to push more activity.
Looking ahead, Hale said there are endless possibilities for more partnerships. In addition to its partnership with Natural Cycles, Ōura’s current partners include Hello Inside, Noom and Lifesum, which look at metabolic health. Additionally, users have access to Talkspace for behavioral health and a range of fitness partnerships including FitOn and Peleton. Leaning into its consumers’ love of Fashion and lifestyle, Ōura also had a previous collaboration with Gucci which was an instant hit, selling out in just five weeks.
The Gucci x Ōura ring, said Hale, had “all the functionality of aura in this really beautiful, elegant package. We think of this as almost like a piece of jewelry and there’s lots of opportunities for us to expand into different styles or colorways. [The design with Gucci] gave us a lot of confidence that this was more of a Fashion device and that people would be willing to pay for intangibles of design or brand that came along with it.”
Throughout all iterations, developments and partnerships, Hale stressed that when it comes to data privacy Ōura will always remain incredibly clear, “the data that is collected on your ring is your data, it is not for us. We will never use it to sell or market or to anything that you do not want. You are the sovereign ledger data and we encrypt and secure the data so that no one else can access it unless you give them permission.”
Notably, Ōura is in the process of earning a HIPAA-compliant certification and regulation in the U.S.
Hale encouraged everyone to look into wearing an Ōura ring. Understanding your metrics, he said, is how you change your behavior. What is measured is managed and provides the tools, insight and information and education to make those changes in life to improve health and live longer and healthier.
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Ōura Is Keeping the Pulse on Health for Every Body – celebritiestalks