The COVID-19 virus pandemic has yet to be fully contained and until a vaccine can be found and administered, it has been generally advised that people should practice social distancing. This means that a lot of events that involve a lot of people, such as sporting events, need to either be put on hold or find ways to hold them safely.
As far as the NBA is concerned, it seems that they will be turning to the use of technology to help them deal with the COVID-19 situation. According to a report from The Athletic (paywall), they have managed to get their hands on an internal memo in which it describes the NBA’s plans to handle future games, such as how they would go about testing players, quarantine protocols, and so on.
However, what was interesting about the memo is that it mentions that it proposes the use of the Oura smart ring. For those unfamiliar, the Oura ring was recently found to be capable of detecting COVID-19 symptoms early. By equipping players with the ring, it means that players who might have contracted the disease will be notified and given that it can detect symptoms early, the NBA will have more time to deal with the situation and to prevent further spreading.
It should be noted that the proposal claims that the rings are optional and that players can choose not to use them if they don’t want to. The data on the rings will also not be made available to the team staff unless the detects the player might be sick, in which it will require further medical review.
The Oura ring has yet to be officially adopted but it’s interesting to see how these types of tech are finding their way into sports.