The purpose of monitoring using wearables is to provide health alerts and measurements, so informed choices may lead to better health outcomes. We’ve found it surprising how it’s possible to think one thing and be measured as another. It’s interesting being able to correlate the detail of what’s happening e.g. a long sleep without sufficient REM sleep may degrade social and learning capacity, so it’s handy to know, and have suggestions on how to fix.
Omic presently works with 5 major automated metrics. All metrics vary individually with age/gender and nature/nurture.
- HRV: Increasing average HRV is strongly correlated in research with a healthy lifespan, and is hence a useful “one measure to rule them all”. Lower HRV indicates “fight or flight” dominance and higher HRV indicates “rest and digest” dominance of the central nervous system.
- Readiness: Readiness is a an interpreted measure of rest after a good sleep. After a good sleep readiness rises and after strenuous exercise readiness declines. Using readiness to guide exercise helps find a balance between fitness and injury for overall health.
- Temperature Delta: A departure from baseline tends to indicate something is afoot e.g. a rise in temperature may be associated with viral illness (or cycles in women).
- Respiratory Rate: A Buteyko approach suggests optimal respiration at around 12 per minute. High rates may be associated with adverse outcomes and paradoxically moderately lower rates may be associated with more oxygen reaching the brain (e.g. https://www.normalbreathing.org/co2-vasodilation – a complementary perspective to lung health). After a viral infection, respiration rate seems to take longer to return to baseline than other metrics and may be a useful measure of a full return to health.
- Resting Heart Rate: Fit people tend to have a lower resting heart rate, and resting heart rate should lower early overnight for a good sleep
As a device for monitoring overall health at home, our first Oura Ring wearable integration has a few things going for it:
- While it costs USD264 on special including freight from www.ouraring.com (about NZD420 depending upon exchange rate), there’s no monthly subscription cost for access to the cloud data.
- For measuring overall health using HRV at home, it’s all about accurate data and the finger is a more accurate place to measure HRV than the wrist.
- The Oura Ring is robust i.e. no problems showering with it and gardening and so on. For strength trainers, we use the ring while weight lifting without problem. The only thing to be careful with (depending upon fit) is that it doesn’t drop off the finger on cold days.
- Next factor, the Oura Ring has some ease of use features that more reliably collect data e.g. the battery lasts 7 days and depending upon preferences, there is no bulky watch to remember to put on.
Omic is device agnostic, so we will work with any wearable that leads to the reliable availability of useful health scores via a public API. As well as Oura, our medical team is interested in the https://www.whoop.com and https://biostrap.com, so get in touch if you have one of these devices and would like to use Omic.
Overall, we are happy to be associated with services that we use ourselves successfully. The Oura Ring is working for us because it reliably adds value without creating complexity.
The real world example below correlates data around an alert and subsequent intervention leading to early recovery. The HRV profile prior to illness corresponds to published research and is now included in the Omic alert engine.