Smart rings may be the ultimate in unobtrusive digital health wearables. Led by the Apple Watch, smart watches with vital sign sensors draw more news coverage than rings today, but we’re enthusiastically watching smart ring developments. In past newsletters, for just a few examples, we have covered a smart ring that diagnoses sleep apnea, COVID-19 symptom detection by smart ring, and the Oura sleep and activity tracking ring that also aids meditation practice.

Pleasanton, California-based Movano was at CES 2022 in Las Vegas earlier this month to showcase the company’s early-stage Movano Ring. To give you an idea of the Movano Ring’s development cycle, the company told Health Tech Insider it was planning to release a beta product in 2022. Movano’s goal is that the ring will inform and assist users by measuring vital signs. An associated mobile app will translate the metrics for the wearer and provide feedback on data trends and changes. Most smart watches and smart rings rely on PPG (photoplethysmography) using light from LEDs to track vital signs. In contrast, Movano uses millimeter-wave radio frequency (RF) emissions at multiple frequencies for biometric tracking.

Movano CEO John Mastrototaro has a PhD in biomedical engineering. He worked on Medtronic’s first continuous glucose monitor (CGM) design. Mastrototaro told Health Tech Insider that the initial target biometrics for the Movano Ring include heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, temperature, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), steps, and respiration rate. Movano will conduct trials for 510K clearance for HR and HRV. The company is also looking into 510K clearance for blood pressure and blood glucose levels, although the latter may be limited to tracking change but not actual blood glucose values.

This means that it will likely be a year or more before the Movano Ring launches. Movano is not announcing a price, other than to state that the intention is to be “more affordable” than the competing Oura ring.