Some Lakers were using Oura rings before COVID-19. Will more players wear them?
Lakers striker Kyle Kuzma expressed skepticism about an electronic health device that the NBA plans to make available to players in Orlando. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)
As the NBA tries to resume its season despite increasing cases of COVID-19 and the increasing number of hospital stays due to the disease, it has been keen to quickly discover and track the disease in players. One device that the league wants to make available to players in Orlando, Florida is a ring with sensors that measure various body functions.
The ring produced by the Oura company is no stranger to NBA circles. At least not in Los Angeles.
Judy Seto, sports director of the Lakers, wears one. In an interview that took place in February, Seto removed the titanium ring to show the glow inside where sensors could detect various events in her body.
"The electronics of this model are similar to a Fitbit, but are a bit more precise," said Seto. "... I can make it wet. I can influence it and nothing starts. This tells me how long it took me to fall asleep. It tells me sleep cycles. Light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep. How much i got Did I fall asleep or did I turn around at night? Gives me feedback from: “Hmm, I saw that you went to bed a little late or woke up again and again at night. Do you mind something? “Your body temperature is elevated, are you feeling good? Maybe you'll be a little under the weather. "
The latter is of most interest to the league during the pandemic. One of the early symptoms of COVID-19 is high fever. According to a study, Oura can detect the presence of the disease three days earlier than a swab test.
On social media, Lakers security guard Kyle Kuzma was skeptical of the device: "Looks like a tracking device," he said, adding an emoji to a face that peeked an eye through a monocle.
The league is trying to address such concerns. It is said that it will not force players to wear the rings, but plans to make them available according to the memos distributed this week.
The NBA also said that players are not allowed to wear the rings during the games. It was promised that while the data collected from the rings would be available to players, it would only be available to team members to alert them that the likelihood of illness for players was high enough to indicate that a player was higher Is at risk or shows symptoms of COVID-19. The league also said the data will not be used for commercial purposes, published, or available for future contract negotiations.
The Lakers do not collect data collected in these rings. They simply offer them as an option for players. Before the pandemic, the main goal was to identify sleep patterns.
"Some do," said Seto when asked in February whether the players wanted to wear the ring. “There is an app on the phone that you can run. There are also various devices. Some only wear it in the evening. But it's really individual and it's education. Instead of trying to be pushy or controlling, it works with them and trains them about them. With our travel plan it is sometimes difficult to get enough sleep, but hopefully because of educating people and the importance of sleep, it doesn't matter that sleep is a priority instead of playing it. "
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