Social distancing measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19 have led to the suspension or cancellation of prominent sporting events around the world. But now, after months of hiatus, we are finally reaching a stage where authorities are considering the resumption of these events. Most recently, football returned with La Liga and Bundesliga. Formula 1 is primed to be back in action in the coming days. Basketball is also expected to follow suit as well.
In recent a memo dubbed 'Life Inside the Bubble', picked up by The Athletic, the testing plans, and quarantine protocols for NBA's resumption were described (via Engadget). Interestingly, to enforce social distancing, the memo suggests using Oura rings. These rings notify if people are within six feet of each other for too long.
The suggestion takes a cue from a study released earlier this month that suggested that the rings, by combining physiological data and data procured via in-app surveys, can predict the onset of COVID-19 three days in advance with 90% accuracy. In principle, the rings work similarly to any fitness tracker. They track heart rate and respiration rate, among other variables, and assign "an illness probability score" that prompts for an in-depth medical review, the Senior Writer at ESPN Zach Lowe tweeted.
Team staff will *not* have any access to player data from the wearable ring (should any player actually choose to wear it) aside from instances in which the "illness probability score" triggers a further medical review. https://t.co/q7nk1cBzIa— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 17, 2020
While the use of the Oura rings will be optional, people have gotten skeptical of the data accrued by the rings. To this end, Lowe reiterated that the wearing of the rings will be optional to players and staff members. Furthermore, the team staff will not have access to any other player data "aside from instances in which the 'illness probability score' triggers a further medical review."