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Oura Debuts New Stress Analyzers, Partnership With Headspace

Executive Summary

At HLTH, Oura debuted stress-focused features aimed to help wearers identify stress triggers, reduce stress, as well as a new AI-powered tool that allows its members digital journaling. Oura’s new partnership with the mindfulness app maker Headspace, lets users access stress-relieving content, such as meditations.

As of 10 October, Oura Ring wearers can use the Oura app to analyze stress triggers. And iOS users can use an AI-powered tool to voice-record short journal entries (in beta testing), which has been shown to reduce stress.

In late 2023, Oura Health plans to add another feature that lets wearers analyze stress levels and offer recommendations for reducing stress as well as access select stress-focused content through a new partnership with the meditation app maker Headspace.

Oura, which markets the health and sleep-tracking Oura Ring to track and analyze a multitude of health metrics, announced the launch of the three new stress features – Daytime Stress, Reflections and Stress Resilience – as well as its new partnership with Headspace, and a new addition, the brushed-titanium Oura Ring, on 10 October at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas.  (Also see "Opportunities For Medtech In Mental Health" - In Vivo, 12 Aug, 2020.)

Titanium-Brushed Finish Oura Ring Oura Health

The stress management metrics are the latest health metrics to be added to Oura Ring’s existing features such as heart-rate variability (HRV), blood oxygen rate, body temperature, nighttime movement and sleep duration.

“Tracking stress as a foundational part of health is a natural evolution for us,” said Holly Shelton, chief product officer at the health company Oura. “We’ve spent countless hours researching, testing and perfecting these features to capture daytime measurements that help paint the full picture of a person’s well-being.”

The Oura ring has tiny sensors that measure and review daily activity, recovery and sleep quality, negative temperature coefficient (NTC) sensors to detect changes in the skin and temperature, and infrared sensors to help determine if a user is wearing the ring correctly.

At the HLTH conference, Oura's head of science Shyamal Patel told Medtech Insight, "Sleep is Oura’s superpower. [We will] lean in to understand stress and have an effective way to do something about it.”

“We’ve spent countless hours researching, testing and perfecting these features to capture daytime measurements that help paint the full picture of a person’s well-being.” – Holly Shelton

Daytime Stress, which was also made available to Oura members starting 10 October, identifies stress triggers by continuously measuring small changes in biometrics such as heart rate, HRV, and temperature by capturing readings every 15 minutes, the company said.

Reflections, which is now available in beta for iOS users, is an AI-powered journal function in the Oura app. Members can speak and record a short journal entry into the app and use a single gesture to record mood and mental state. Speech recognition will transcribe the text while the AI works in the background to create context of the captured data, according to Oura.

Stress Resilience, which will be introduced this winter, builds on a person’s foundational health and wellness metrics scores to evaluate how the member manages stress long-term, and then, provides recommendations to manage stress and improve overall health, Oura said. Timed with the launch of Stress Resilience, members will be able to access select Headspace mediations, guided breathwork, and muscle relaxation exercises via the Explore section and Daytime Stress feature in the Oura app.

Just two months ago, Oura announced a partnership with Talkspace to allow Oura members to share their personalized sleep and daily movement data with Talkspace therapists.

Last August, Oura also partnered with Natural Cycles, which developed a birth control app that’s been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration. Natural Cycles users with an Oura Ring can automatically sync their temperature trend data collected overnight into the Natural Cycles app in the morning.  (Also see "Natural Cycles Fertility App Wins FDA Clearance For Oura Ring Integration" - Medtech Insight, 2 Aug, 2022.)

The data will be analyzed using Natural Cycles’ algorithm to calculate daily fertility status, Oura said.

Oura Ring, which is on its third iteration and rumored to introduce a fourth iteration next year, also showcased its new Brushed Titanium finish, which will start at $449.

The Oura Ring starts at $299 and has a monthly membership fee of $5.99 with the first month of membership being free.

Early Days

Oura Ring has come a long way since it made its debut in 2015. The company was founded in 2013 in Oulu, Finland and now also has offices in San Francisco and San Diego.

Among its customers are professional sports teams such as the Women’s National Basketball Association and the Seattle Mariners, companies that provide data-driven wellness to employees, health and fitness enthusiasts as well as celebrities.

According to online reports, Oura has raised a total of $145.9m in funding over eight rounds. The company puts its valuation at $2.55bn.

Among its biggest competitors are Whoop, which markets the Whoop Band, a subscription-based wearable fitness tracker; Garmin, which is best known for its GPS products for outdoor enthusiasts; the Fitbit smart watch, now part of Google; and the Apple Watch, which dominates the smartwatch market.


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