There's a new wearable tech metric in town – and it's all about blood oxygen. it's going to sound complicated and slightly pointless, but pulse ox can reveal conditions like apnea – and help athletes recover.
Pulse ox is getting down to appear on the spec sheets of the foremost important smartwatches and fitness devices.
So why is putting a pulse oximeter inside a wearable a giant deal?
We explore what it is, how it works and what it's going to bring to the wearable party.
What Is a Pulse Oximeter / SpO2 Sensor?
When we discuss pulse oximeters or pulse oximetry, we are delving into the realm of medical tech and talking about a device that's able to measure oxygen levels or oxygen saturation within the blood.
That tech used to take form of a clip-on device that you just place on your finger, a toe or perhaps on your ear lobe.
Optical SpO2 sensors use red and infrared light sensors to detect your oxygen levels, sensing changes in those levels by gazing the colour of your blood.
It measures the quantity of oxygen supported the way the light passes through your finger and delivers the info to the device's screen, which is able to tell you the percentage of oxygen in your blood.
Why track blood oxygen?
John Hopkins Medicine explains how measuring oxygen levels through pulse oximetry offers insights into a spread of health related issues.
It may be accustomed check whether someone needs assistance with their breathing via a ventilator, measure somebody's ability to handle intensive physical activities, and it may check whether you're experiencing breathing issues when sleeping.
COVID-19 has put the main focus on blood oxygen on the map, but actually, there are many less extreme reasons to stay an eye fixed on blood oxygen levels.
Athletes or people spending time at altitude will want to monitor blood oxygen levels.
However, it's apnea that basically makes SpO2 a worthwhile sensor. it is a disorder which if left untreated or undetected may lead to a rise within the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and may even cause a heart attack. and that is where many health watches and wearables can are available in useful.
It's estimated that 22 million Americans suffer with sleep disorder (sleep apnea), but the bulk aren't even aware they need the disorder.
It also can be a valuable piece of health data for people stricken by a variety of conditions including asthma, pneumonia, heart failure and carcinoma.
Pulse oximeter and wearables you can buy right now
Pulse oximeters are starting to find their way into some big name wearables and that data is being used in very different ways.
More & more people & athletes are talking about SpO2, that lead Info Reminder Smart Watch, The Trainer Smart Watch, the Thermo Smart Watch and all Lemfo watches put a big emphasis on blood oxygen which measured blood oxygen levels from the wrist.