NBA to Leverage Smart Data Tech for Player Safety

As the National Basketball Association (NBA) gears up for a start of a fresh season in July 2020 in Disney World, Orlando, Florida, the league will reportedly be using smart data technology and big data to help keep players and staff safe from the virus pandemic.

Based on the health and safety memo released by the league, residents who will be staying within the bubble will be given an array of items to keep them safe and protected, including an Oura “smart” ring that serves as an early warning device for the spread of the virus.

A fitness tracker of sorts, the $300 Oura wearable ring measures the body’s temperature, respiratory rate, sleep time, and heart rate via sensors found on the inside, notes GQ. With its corresponding app, the program works to produce an assessment of the current individual.

NBA to Leverage Smart Data Tech

Though still in its preliminary stages, wearing and utilizing the data collected from the device could provide three days warning with 95% accuracy, as revealed by the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute from West Virginia University (WVU).

This can provide insights on symptoms related to the virus pandemic, such as coughing, headache, high temperature, and muscle pain.

In a statement to GQ, executive chair of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at WVU said, “If we can provide insight into asymptomatic people who may be spreading the virus and help with earlier detection with this technology, it can inform better decision making, facilitate safety, and prioritize who gets testing and other health containment strategies.”

Apart from the wearable smart ring, Oura, the NBA will also be providing a Disney magic band that serves as a hotel room key as well as access to checkpoints of security and virus inspection. According to CNBC, the Disney MagicBands will also work as a contact tracing device of sorts.

However, the league is still finding ways to utilize the band for contact tracing purposes, notes CNBC. The NBA seeks to leverage available data technology to determine if a player diagnosed with the said virus comes into contact with another player.

In addition to the smart Oura ring and the Disney MagicBand, the NBA will also be providing residents with their respective pulse oximeters as well as thermometers to help individuals monitor their blood saturation levels and their temperature.

CNBC reveals that the data collected from players and other residents will be analyzed by the University of Michigan. While players will have access to data collected from them, only the respective team staff will gain access to relevant information should a player exhibit symptoms of the virus.

Following the massive use of data technology and personal information, CNBC notes that there have been concerns coming from players who feel that data collection is overbearing, with some acknowledging the possible benefits and disadvantages this plan could bring.