Oura Health, the company behind the smart ring that provides personalized insights on sleep and overall health, today announced a partnership with the WNBA to provide Oura Rings and health management services to players, and team and league staff in Bradenton, Florida, at IMG Academy, the Official Home of the 2020 WNBA season. As the season tips off, Oura, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) will work closely together to prioritize the health, safety, and privacy of the players.
The Oura Ring is one of the only mainstream consumer health wearables that measures body temperature directly from your skin rather than estimating it from your external environment. Temperature is a vital component of accurate sleep analysis, athletic performance, and the ability to uncover potential signs of illness. Recently, Oura, alongside two major research institutions, has donated Oura Rings to thousands of frontline healthcare workers. Oura Rings have been used in TemPredict, a study at UCSF, and in a separate study at West Virginia University—contributing to a growing body of research on illness detection, symptom profiles, and recovery.
As the WNBA season begins, players and staff inside Bradenton can opt-in to receive an Oura Ring, helping them better understand their daily health insights through the Oura app. In addition, players and staff can voluntarily opt-in to participate in Oura’s Health Risk Management platform that was developed to help support organizations with existing health and safety protocols, like the WNBA. Oura will help the WNBA and WNBPA make informed decisions with an efficient and accurate way of learning more about who may be in a higher risk category.
To protect the privacy of the participating players, Oura has created an aggregate risk score that uses factors such as meaningful changes in a user’s baseline body temperature, respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability, which may be correlated with the onset of illness.
“There is compelling research on how Oura can support discoveries in the early onset of illness, before an individual feels symptoms,” said Harpreet Rai, Oura CEO. “We have also been conducting research in the women’s health space, and we’re really excited about the ability to work with the WNBA in our collective mission to prioritize the health and safety of players.”
Oura is well-positioned to empower the WNBA to better understand where their health insights differ from their male counterparts in the face of a lack of scientific resources focused on women’s health. Oura has already been established as a tool for investigating hormone cycles, and is dedicated to helping individuals identify key patterns in their temperature, recovery, sleep, and performance that are tied to known cycle phases. Importantly, the ability to measure temperature continuously can be the key differentiator in spotting the difference between the natural temperature fluctuations that come with hormone phases in a menstrual cycle vs. more concerning patterns that may indicate illness.
“The WNBA is proud to team up with Oura Health to bring its state-of-the-art monitoring technology to the IMG Academy in Bradenton,” said Christy Hedgpeth, Chief Operating Officer, WNBA. “Protecting the health of players, as well as team and league staff, is paramount. Because players and staff will have the option to access additional personal health monitoring, the use of Oura Rings will further expand the league’s comprehensive safety and testing procedures for the 2020 season.”
“The safety of the players, coaches and staff is the highest priority in launching a season,” said Terri Jackson, Executive Director of the WNBPA. “We were eager to work with Oura because of its commitment to women’s health. The smart ring’s data and insights will help our players more closely understand their health, and spot any deviations from their personal baseline. And the opportunity to share the Oura Ring with the staff at IMGA is meaningful, and we appreciate Oura and the WNBA for honoring that request.”
Beyond providing insights around potential illness symptoms, Oura helps players optimize their performance potential by delivering personalized readiness, activity, and deep insights automatically to their Oura app, just by wearing the Oura Ring throughout the day and night.
More information about the Oura Ring can be found online at ouraring.com.
Oura Health is the company behind the smart ring providing actionable insights on sleep and its impact on overall health. The ring tracks all stages of sleep and accounts for daily activity to provide practical steps for long term improvement. Founded in 2013, Oura is now used by top performers including Jack Dorsey, Michael Dell, Arianna Huffington, Marc Benioff, the NBA and more. Oura Health is headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with offices in Helsinki, London, and San Francisco. Oura has raised a total of $47M of funding from Forerunner Ventures, MSD Capital, Gradient Ventures, and Square. For more information, please visit http://ouraring.com/.