Making good on a feature promised last fall, Oura has rolled out blood oxygen saturation measurements to the Oura Ring Gen3. What Oura is calling “Blood Oxygen Sensing (SpO2),” the feature collects data to track and analyze your blood oxygen levels and breathing regularity while you sleep.
In the feature release announcement on the Oura site, the technology used is explained as:
Oura Ring measures SpO2 by utilizing the red and infrared LED sensors added in the Oura Ring Gen3. The sensors shine red and infrared light into your finger and use the reflected light that bounces back to estimate how much oxygen is in your blood. Richly oxygenated blood reflects more red light than infrared light, while poorly oxygenated blood reflects more infrared light than red light.
Newer iterations of many wearables, like WHOOP and Apple Watch, already employ this type of tech. But being as small as Oura Ring Gen3 is, it is something of a first for this type of at-home tracking.
The new metrics, Average Blood Oxygen and Breathing Regularity, are set to track automatically. Operating the additional sensors to get this data could diminish your Oura Ring battery life. If that’s more of a concern than what that data might tell you, there is an option for users to turn off the new features.
On the Oura site, it’s explained that healthy blood oxygen levels are over 95%, and persons who regularly measure over that really have no need to monitor this data daily. Users who have their blood oxygen levels measured as ‘optimal’ throughout the night won’t even be given full details of their breathing regularity.
When the Ring Gen3 was released in November 2021, Oura promised future features. Improved heart rate tracking came to users at the start of the summer, but customers are still waiting for the improved sleep tracking. With Blood Oxygen Sensing now here, we can hope sleep tracking is coming next.
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