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Photo: Oura

Oura's smart ring could help detect COVID-19 infections before noticeable symptoms show up — and earlier than other methods — thanks to its ability to continuously monitor body temperature, according to a University of California, San Francisco study.

Why it matters: Earlier detection, especially of those without symptoms, could spur people who may be infected to get tested and self-isolate, crucial steps in slowing the coronavirus' spread as the pandemic worsens in the U.S.

Between the lines: Because the smart ring continuously monitors vitals, researchers found, it can spot when someone's temperature is running higher than the normal range of fluctuations around their personal baseline, even if they're not running an objectively high fever.

Driving the news: An analysis of data from 50 COVID-19 infected patients that were part of a larger UCSF study is being published today in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

  • Of the 50, 38 reported a fever, and showed an elevated temperature in their smart ring data.

What they're saying: Ashley Mason, principal investigator for the project, said the study showed that those who later tested positive for COVID-19 often showed a "mini-storm" of physiological changes before a bigger, more easily detectable set of symptoms.

What's next: The researchers are looking to test an algorithm that could prompt wearers to get a COVID-19 test when data that the ring collects, including temperature, suggest a possible infection.

Go deeper

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.

Jan 26, 2021 - Health

U.K. surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

The U.K. on Tuesday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths almost a year after the first two cases were reported in the country, according to government figures.

Why it matters: It is the first European country and fifth country in the world to reach the threshold. The country reported 100,162 deaths on Tuesday.

Jan 26, 2021 - Health

Biden admin to boost COVID vaccine delivery to states for at least 3 weeks

Vice President Harris receives her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.

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