The story of the man who detected Covid-19 thanks to his smart ring


The monitoring and control of our health through wearables helps us detect diseases and health problems

The role of technology as an ally against the Covid-19 pandemic of the 21st century is undeniable. Thanks to the monitoring of many aspects of our life, we now have access to much deeper knowledge about our environment and about ourselves; and, more importantly, about our physical condition and our health. Talking about technology and health means talking about wearables and all their possibilities.

In the case of coronavirus, the development of wearable devices has helped to detect possible infections thanks, for example, to the smart helmets used by China’s urban guard, capable of taking the temperature of more than 200 people in less than a minute. Or the smart bracelet that alerts the user every time it detects that they intend to touch their face. Likewise, commonly used wearables such as smart watches can also help detect abnormalities in our health readings in order to prevent diseases, such as the coronavirus.

Today we bring you the amazing story of Petri Hollmén, a Finnish businessman who, without showing any symptoms, detected that he had Covid-19

Just as he did every morning, Hollmén checked the data from his Oura Smart Ring:

“When I woke up I felt quite normal. However, my Oura app gave me a low readiness score: 54. It is usually between 80 and 90. I checked my temperature in the application’s data, which was 1ºC above the average recorded daily.”

This happened on March 12, so Petri, taking into account the incipient spread of the coronavirus in the world, began to join the dots. He had recently been on a business trip to lightly affected areas of Central Europe. He decided to contact the health center and that same afternoon was diagnosed with Covid-19.

The wearable Oura Ring is a smart ring that monitors the pulse, movement and temperature of the body, providing the user with a holistic view of their health. It also analyzes the quality of sleep in each of its phases and gives information on how prepared the body is to face daily tasks, thanks to its artificial intelligence system that analyzes data on sleep, activity and recovery levels.

However, having a portable device and consulting it from time to time is not enough for disease prevention. As stated by Petri Hollmén, it was the constant daily monitoring of his biometric data over long periods of time, as well as having the ability to interpret them, which allowed him to recognize the anomalies in his body produced by the virus.

Doctors and professionals from the UCSF San Francisco Medical Center together with the Zuckerberg General Hospital are using this technology to track possible cases of infection, via the monitoring of body temperature and heart rate.