The Oura Ring Wearable Aims to "Address Health Holistically" with New Heart-Monitoring Features

New features, rolling out this month to third-generation Oura Ring owners, expand the wearable's capabilities beyond sleep and fitness.

Health monitoring wearable specialist ŌURA has released an update to its flagship Oura Ring — offering better heart monitoring in what the company says signals "the next evolution of ŌURA."

"At ŌURA, we know that health is not a moment in time or season; it's a lifelong journey," claims ŌURA's Holly Shelton. "We're dedicated to creating, validating, and offering new and innovative product offerings that give our members context about their health over the long term. Along with providing continuous, accurate data, health technology needs to answer the critical 'so what?' question.

"We're connecting the dots to help our members understand how their habits and behaviors today — like aerobic activity and sleep hygiene — impact their health as they age and how they can make changes that will pay off later in life."

The Oura Ring launched in 2017 fallowing a successful crowdfunding campaign a year earlier. Designed to be worn on the finger, the Oura Ring uses infrared light to analyze the wearer's pulse rate and body temperature — and, in its latest third-generation version, blood oxygen levels.

Initially sold as a sleep and physical fitness tracker, the company's latest update now positions the wearable as suitable for cardiovascular health monitoring thanks to two newly added metrics: cardiovascular age and cardio capacity.

"Cardiovascular Age helps ŌURA members understand their estimated cardiovascular age relative to their chronological age, helping them identify behaviors that can positively impact their health span," the company explains of the first feature. "ŌURA gauges CVA by analyzing age-related observations within a photoplethysmograph (PPG) signal, which carries information about estimated arterial stiffness and pulse wave velocity (PWV).

"Cardio Capacity is based on an estimation of VO2Max, which is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can use during intense or effortful exercise," ŌURA continues of the second new feature.

"It is a well-known benchmark of aerobic endurance, reflecting the efficiency of the body's cardiovascular and respiratory systems in supplying oxygen to the muscles during sustained physical activity. In simple terms, the better a person's cardio capacity, the healthier their cardiovascular system (and organs) will likely be across a lifetime."

The company claims that its latest features can help "address health holistically," and has stated that the software roll-out will begin later this month for third-generation Oura Ring owners. More information is available on the ŌURA website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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