In the world of wearable technology, there's a device that's been quietly revolutionising the way we monitor our health and well-being. Meet the Oura Ring – a sleek, sophisticated piece of jewellery packed with cutting-edge sensors and technology designed to track your body's vital signs around the clock.

Company director Kelly Thrussell has been giving one a spin and offers her insight:

My Experience:

As the members of my team will vouch, I am not the techy-one in this outfit… I prefer the "human, mushy, fluffy stuff", but when questions started arising about the Oura Ring and the team wanted to try one out- I was excited to be the guinea pig, even if that did require some significant over-sharing of personal data!

Developed and produced by a Finnish company, the Oura Ring is a wearable health tracker designed to monitor various aspects of your body's physiology, including sleep patterns, activity levels, heart rate, body temperature, and more. It resembles a regular ring and is available in a range of finishes. The ring contains ‘research grade’ sensors and technology that continuously collect data about health and well-being. This data is then analysed to provide insights and personalised recommendations to help optimise health and lifestyle. The Oura Ring is worn day and night, allowing for seamless integration into daily routine, and it connects to a smart app on both iOS and Android where you can view your health metrics and track your progress over time. 

With a starting price of £299 + Import Tax, the ring should definitely be considered an investment… but honestly?...There’s a lot to love.

Firstly, let's talk about design. The Oura Ring is sleek, stylish, and incredibly comfortable to wear. It's also very robust; Oura recommend wearing the ring on the peter pointer or middle finger of your non-dominant hand, and my kettle would have preferred it if I had listened- as my chain tea-drinking habit has resulted in its handle being scratched to smithereens. Not a mark on the ring though- #hardcore.  As someone who struggles to tolerate wearing a watch (and certainly couldn’t sleep in one)- the Oura is ticking my boxes. When it comes to wearability and comfort; it's five-stars from me.

One of the standout features of the Oura Ring is its ability to track sleep. As a busy working mum of three…I was eager to see how the Oura Ring could help me improve my sleep quality (Hellllllp!). Let me tell you, the insights it provides are nothing short of eye-opening. From tracking sleep stages to detecting breathing disturbances, the Oura Ring gives me a comprehensive overview of my sleep patterns and offers personalised recommendations to help me get the best rest possible. When I listen to those recommendations- it has a measurable positive effect on my sleep! I’ve tried tricking it- to see if I can make it think I’m asleep- I am yet to achieve success… It’s too darn clever!!

But the Oura Ring doesn't stop there. It also monitors my activity levels, heart health, stress levels, and more. The readiness score, in particular, has been a game-changer for me. By analysing over 20 body signals, the Oura Ring tells me how ready I am for the day ahead and helps me plan my activities accordingly. It's like having a personal health coach right on my finger! As a busy mum, I’m quite used to pushing through and sometimes putting my own needs to the bottom of the pile, Oura has told me when it thinks I’m unwell (I actually had a fever and probably wouldn’t have noticed), when I  should probably rest, and  it’s given me permission to stop.  The insights and recommendations are easy to interpret and have got a kind, reassuring, non-judgey tone that I appreciate too!

I'm a big fan of the most recent update to the Oura experience- resilience tracking and day time stress!!! I'm a bit of worrier- "stress and suppress" would be the tag line to my life. The Oura Ring picks up on my physiological stress responses and allows me to pinpoint moments in my day that have been particularly stressful- and the accuracy is pretty astounding. I can pin-point who, what and where stresses me out- this has helped me to plan my weeks better and again give myself permission to ensure I allow time for restoration on those high stress days.

As perimenopause rages and I find myself in much the same state as a battered hen at the end of her egg-laying career, to say I experience monthly fluctuations in my menstrual cycle would be an understatement.  For this reason, I find the cycle tracking feature incredibly valuable. It not only helps me understand my body better but by automatically taking an accurate basal temperature as my body wakes each day- it also provides insights into how my cycle impacts other aspects of my health and well-being.  Oura has several app integrations including 'Natural Cycles' the only app of its kind to be FDA cleared and CE marked for fertility tracking.

Implications for use with clients:

I'm particularly excited about the potential of the Oura Ring to enhance the quality of life of our clients who find articulating how they feel and what they want or need difficult.

How much more responsive could a care team be with these sorts of insights into our clients wellbeing?

As professionals, how often do we make assumptions about our clients' daily living experiences- not through any ill-intent- but because our clients are unable to tell us any different?

How well did your client sleep last night?

Could your client be feeling under the weather due to their monthly cycle?

How is your client's involuntary movements affecting their readiness and resilience?

What are the high stress points for your client during their day? Are there patterns?

How is your client's overall health, are they coming down with something?

Better insight into our clients' physiological daily responses eliminates some of the guess work involved in understanding our clients' needs and experiences. I'm excited about the potential of working from a more informed position and for the opportunity the Oura Ring data gives us to optimise our recommendations, our care packages, our client's weekly timetable and our client's daily routines... I'm passionate about quality and client centred support- at the risk of showing my age (in case perimenopause didn't do it)-In my best Chandler Bing voice- I ask you- "Could this BE more client centred?!"

Is the Oura Ring without implication regarding safeguarding, capacity, data handling, privacy, dignity... of course it isn't!! There'll need to be a robust process that considers all of the above... but who doesn't love a good process?!! I'm working one up as we speak!

We're already working on a case where the Oura Ring is playing a role in case building- to better understand and evidence the sort of support our client would benefit from day to day... and I'm excited, as ever to continue to explore the benefits of wearables like Oura on quality of life for the clients we work to support.

p.s. I know what you're wondering, do I like it better than the Apple watch? That's a whole other blog post... coming soon... :)