Oura Ring Makes Sharing Health Data a Social Thing With ‘Circles’ – CNET

Have you ever wanted to know how well your friend slept last night? Not just by their own word of mouth, but with the receipt to prove it? Now you can with Circles, a new feature Oura announced Thursday for its app that lets you share different health data with up to 10 “circles” of people. 

Circles will share Readiness, Sleep and Activity with people you allow in your circle — up to 20 per circle. You’ll be able to choose which kind of data you share with each group, so one circle can get more of your wellness information than another. 

The three scores are summaries of the health data the ring collects, including temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen readings. Oura said it plans on expanding the type of information able to be shared in the future.

To start a circle, open the Oura app, scroll down the main menu and select “Circles.” Then you can name a circle, decide what scores you want to share and also decide whether you want that data to be daily or weekly averages. To invite people into the circle (they have to be fellow Oura users), you’ll send them a one-time link. 

Once you’ve started your circle, you can view their scores and “react” with emojis, if you choose. Everyone has to sync their rings to keep the scores visible.

A picture of Circles in the Oura app

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>What it looks like to react to your friend in Circles.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Oura</span>

For people who enjoy collecting health data (and maybe boasting about a good health week), Oura’s Circles features is a good way to do that with other Oura wearers. According to a press release, though, the company is positioning Circles as another way to check in and connect with each other, which is becoming an increasingly important public health goal amid a loneliness epidemic, which has impacts on sleep, mental health and physical illness. 

“Our mission at ŌURA has always been to improve the lives of our members by taking a compassionate approach to health, and this new feature is just the next step in delivering a personalized experience that allows our members to connect with not only their bodies, but also their friends and family,” Oura CEO Tom Hale said in a statement. 

Oura’s Circles announcements comes as the company is advancing its sleep staging algorithm out of beta mode, which means everyone tracking sleep stages with Oura will get data from the new algorithm, which Shyamal Patel, the company’s head of science, calls “massive improvements of accuracy” in sleep data. The new algorithm has 79% agreement with polysomnography sleep tests done in a clinic, Patel told CNET. 

Compared to Oura’s older sleep-tracking algorithm, ring wearers might experience slight changes in the amount of time Oura tells you you’re spending in deep sleep versus light sleep versus REM sleep.

“Those numbers are likely to shift a little bit,” Patel said.

For more on the Oura ring, read more about how the tracker can tell you whether you’re a morning person and how the Oura ring compares to the Apple Watch as a sleep tracker. Also, here’s our thorough review of Oura, the wearable that can tell when you’re sick.