Oura Ring could diagnose post-natal mental health conditions

Temperature readings could identify post-natal conditions
Wareable Oura Ring could provide breakthrough for prenatal and postnatal mental health. photo 1
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Smart ring maker Oura is working on a new feature that could detect and predict emotional distress during and after pregnancy.

In a new patent filing unearthed by Wareable, Oura says physiological data detected by a wearable device could offer indicators of mental or emotional wellbeing that could help flag conditions like post-natal depression.

The filing explains how body temperature readings taken during prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal stages would be measured against historical baseline readings. Heart rate, heart rate variability sleep data, and other biomarkers would contribute to refining the assessment.

From here, the smart ring could make a judgment about a potential stressful or distressing emotional condition, or perhaps predict that a change in mental state may be imminent. The user would then be alerted via the Oura mobile app.

The tech would “Detect an indication of a condition of mental or emotional distress based at least in part on identifying that the plurality of temperature values deviates from the prenatal, perinatal, or postnatal baseline of temperature values for the user,” the patent explains. 

The user may receive an in-app notification asking them to confirm or dismiss the suggestion of that distress and a message reading.

“Your biological signals indicate that you may be more stressed than usual. A few minutes of restorative time may do your body and mind some good!”

The system would require some prior knowledge of the stage of the pregnancy or post-0pregnancy period, as well as age, BMI and medical history.

Quite often within these filings, we see lots of technical language, but the rationale for introducing the tech is very well fleshed-out here.

“When users may be asked by clinicians how they are feeling and/or how are they taking care of their baby, the users may be less likely to provide honest answers for the concerns about the stigma, being judged, or shamed and, thus, less likely to receive treatment and decrease symptoms,” the patent reads. 

“As such, techniques described herein may utilize the user's own physiological data to validate feelings of emotional or mental distress to help combat such stigma and improve the willingness and acceptance to receive medical assistance, when appropriate.”

From a technical perspective, it appears as if the current Oura Ring could take the readings necessary to make this tech a reality, so it’s a case of implementing the feature from a consumer-facing software and algorithmic perspective. 

And it could also mean navigating the regulatory hurdles around the diagnosis of conditions.


Oura has plenty of previous in this field, as one of the most prolific innovators in the burgeoning FemTech space.

Oura Ring users benefit from advanced period prediction and cycle tracking, for example. Users can also tag themselves as pregnant within the app. The company also patented a menopause detection feature last year.

In a statement, Oura told Wareable: “At Oura, we have heavily invested in research and innovation, which has allowed us to continuously develop new features to best serve our members. One of the results of this investment is the strongest and most comprehensive IP portfolio - across both hardware and software - in the smart ring space.

“While we can't comment on plans for specific patents, Oura is passionate about our potential use cases and ongoing research in the women’s health space. Most recently, a study was published examining the impact of a meditation intervention on pregnant women using Oura and Headspace."

"This is just one of many ways that Oura can be used to better understand the impact of sleep, activity, recovery, and stress on the health of our female users. We see a tremendous opportunity to empower women to feel more in control of their bodies throughout every stage of life, and we are proud of the new and innovative solutions we are working on for our members.”

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Chris Smith


Chris has more than decade of experience writing for the UK's foremost technology publications including TechRadar, T3 and more.

 A freelance journalist based near Miami, Florida, Chris has written for Wareable since its inception in 2014. From reviews of the latest fitness devices, and in-depth features on bleeding-edge wearable devices, to future-gazing interviews with some of the industry's brightest minds, Chris covers the lot. He also writes about sport for The Guardian and is the author of many technology guide books, while also dabbling in film, music, beer, travel and political commentary.

When he's isn't smashing away at the keys of his MacBook, Chris can be found at his favourite craft breweries, dangling his rod in the warm waters of the Florida Keys, or exploring the Shropshire countryside.

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