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Oura Hires Apple Exec, Plans Deeper Healthcare Push

Oura Hires Apple Exec, Plans Deeper Healthcare Push

Oura’s CEO said the hiring of Jason Oberfest marks the start of a new data- and health-focused chapter for the smart ring maker

Oura has hired Apple executive Jason Oberfest, who served as an integral member of the Apple Health team since joining the company in 2018 from Mango Health.

Tom Hale, Oura’s CEO, told Bloomberg that Oberfest’s hiring will allow the company to “dive deeper into the healthcare world,” adding that his arrival “marks the start of a new chapter” for Oura. Oberfest will servce as Oura’s vice president of healthcare.

Currently, Oura has health sensors that can gather data like oxygen saturation, heart rate variability, menstrual cycles and sleep cycles. It recently announced new stress management features, providing stress monitoring and an AI-powered journal feature. Oberfest’s hiring is a win for the wearables company, which has stiff competition from products like the Apple Watch and Whoop.

Apple Watch has long had healthcare applications, with recent iterations of the Watch including an FDA-cleared electrocardiogram to help users monitor irregular heart rhythms and potential signs of atrial fibrillation. It can also detect critical health conditions and summons emergency services during accidents like falls.

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Now, Oura is expected to similarly expand its capabilities and gain more credibility in the healthcare space.  

It has been a big year for Oura outside of the healthcare sector as well: the company recently hired former Headspace executive Sean Brecker as its new CFO, which came after the brand partnered with Headspace and Thrive Global this year to enhance users’ mental health and sleep management capabilities. The smart ring company also announced a large-scale retail partnership with Best Buy and the acquisition of Proxy, a digital identity startup. Oura also recently forged an agreement with a health e-commerce website to make its ring FSA and HSA eligible.

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