Use Oura to Monitor Illness

Keep track of your health during illness using new tags in the Oura app.

These tags—Cold, Flu, & Confirmed COVID-19—join others like Headache, and Sick so you can stay on top of your symptoms, track recovery, and get back to your normal routine.

Use Tags to Monitor Illness

If you’re monitoring yourself for illness, you can use tags to keep track of changes in your condition.

To add a tag, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the '+' button in the lower right-hand corner of the Home tab.
  2. Tap 'Add a tag' on the menu.
  3. Select a tag or tags from the provided list.
  4. Select the desired date and time.
  5. Tap 'Done' in the upper right-hand corner.

Using tags like Headache, Medication, Sick, Fever, and Flu can help you better manage illness and will help explain any significant changes in metrics like respiratory rate, body temperature, and heart rate variability.

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Things to Keep in Mind

Respiratory Rate

Knowing how much your respiratory rate varies on a regular basis can help you stay attuned to when variation is outside your normal range. A typical range for healthy adults is 12-20 breaths per minute. Respiratory rate tends to be a fairly stable metric, so changes higher than 1-2 breaths per minute above your average are most likely to be meaningful. However, because your respiratory rate is specific to you, if it fluctuates often, you should keep it top of mind especially as you begin using tags to monitor emerging illness.

Higher respiratory rates are likely to correlate with increases in resting heart rate and decreases in heart rate variability; consider these factors when interpreting your data.

Body Temperature

In regard to body temperature, anywhere between 95.9 to 99.3 F° is considered normal for long-term (~2 month) averages. Personal deviations between -2.7 and +1.1 F° are the maximum limits that Oura considers to be normal. This includes an extended window for those who have a greater variety in their average body temperature. If your body temperature climbs out of this range, it will negatively impact your Readiness Score, a key indication that your recovery process is suffering.

Although Oura measures your body temperature 24/7, your nighttime measurements offer more quality insight, as your body is in its most stable state. Your temperature over the course of the night is also a reflection of how your body is responding to current daily stressors—one of which may be illness. When thinking about illness monitoring and body temperature, keep an eye on your overnight deviations—specifically elevations, as this is a sign of something challenging the body.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Noticing drops in your HRV that remain low for extended periods of time (beyond 4-5 days) may be a sign that your body is battling something. On top of that, if you’ve already identified that you’re experiencing illness and recognize depleted HRV scores even after your symptoms disappear, this is a sign that your body is still in need of additional recovery time. We advise you to listen to your body under these circumstances and give it the extended rest it may need.

FAQs

1. Can I remove or edit a tag if my symptoms change?

You may edit or remove tags if you experience a change in symptoms. To do so, follow these steps:

2. If the tag is from the current day:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the Home tab to view your tags underneath 'Activities'.
  2. Tap the tag you’d like to edit or delete.
  3. Change the tag or edit the comment, date, or time—or tap 'Delete tag entry' to remove it.
  4. Tap 'Done' once you've finished editing a tag, or confirm your desire to delete a tag by tapping 'Delete' when prompted. Both will return you to the home tab.

3. If the tag is from a previous day:

  1. Tap 'Today' atop the Home tab.
  2. Select the date your tag was added using the calendar.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the home tab to view your tags underneath 'Activities'.
  4. Tap the tag you would like to edit or delete.
  5. Change the tag or edit the comment, date, or time—or tap 'Delete tag entry' to remove it.
  6. Tap 'Done' once you've finished editing a tag, or confirm your desire to delete a tag by tapping 'Delete' when prompted.

4. Can I create a custom tag to track more specific symptoms?

You can't create custom tags at this time. However, you can add custom notes to your tags. To add a custom note, simply tap 'Add a comment' when adding a tag.

5. What is the COVID-19 tag intended for?

The Confirmed COVID-19 tag is intended to be used for diagnosed cases only. Oura or other external parties will not be alerted if you make use of this tag.

Oura prioritizes user privacy above all and created the COVID-19 tag with your personal health and benefit in mind. Tags are your tool to monitor yourself and unlock insights about how your body responds to strain and recovery. We advise you to use them at your discretion.

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