Feasible assessment of recovery and cardiovascular health: accuracy of nocturnal HR and HRV assessed via ring PPG in comparison to medical grade ECG

Physiol Meas. 2020 May 7;41(4):04NT01. doi: 10.1088/1361-6579/ab840a.


Objective: To validate the accuracy of the Oura ring in the quantification of resting heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV).

Background: Wearable devices have become comfortable, lightweight, and technologically advanced for assessing health behavior. As an example, the novel Oura ring integrates daily physical activity and nocturnal cardiovascular measurements. Ring users can follow their autonomic nervous system responses to their daily behavior based on nightly changes in HR and HRV, and adjust their behavior accordingly after self-reflection. As wearable photoplethysmogram (PPG) can be disrupted by several confounding influences, it is crucial to demonstrate the accuracy of ring measurements.

Approach: Nocturnal HR and HRV were assessed in 49 adults with simultaneous measurements from the Oura ring and the gold standard ECG measurement. Female and male participants with a wide age range (15-72 years) and physical activity status were included. Regression analysis between ECG and the ring outcomes was performed.

Main results: Very high agreement between the ring and ECG was observed for nightly average HR and HRV (r2 = 0.996 and 0.980, respectively) with a mean bias of -0.63 bpm and -1.2 ms. High agreement was also observed across 5 min segments within individual nights in (r2 = 0.869 ± 0.098 and 0.765 ± 0.178 in HR and HRV, respectively).

Significance: Present findings indicate high validity of the Oura ring in the assessment of nocturnal HR and HRV in healthy adults. The results show the utility of this miniaturised device as a lifestyle management tool in long-term settings. High quality PPG signal results prompt future studies utilizing ring PPG towards clinically relevant health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Photoplethysmography / instrumentation*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult