On the Apple Watch Series 6 and later, you can measure blood oxygen levels directly from your wrist. We̵7;m going through it!
How Blood Oxygen Monitoring Works on the Apple Watch
Apple says the blood oxygen monitoring feature is not intended for medical use. Rather, it was designed for “general fitness and health purposes.” Unlike the ECG function, the blood oxygen monitor did not undergo rigorous FDA testing and certification.
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There is a reason why Apple is issuing this warning in advance. The Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch is not completely reliable. Compared to a simple finger-based oxygen monitor, it does not give the most accurate results.
The error is due to the Apple Watch measuring your oxygen levels in the blood through your wrist. The portable device has four LEDs and photodiodes on the back of the watch. It fires green, red and infrared LEDs at the blood vessels in the wrist. The photodiodes then measure the amount of light that is reflected back.
Apple has built a special algorithm engine that collects all this information to find out how much oxygen is in your blood based on color.
Apple Watch can measure between 70-100% oxygen levels in the blood. Generally, 95-100% is considered the normal range. If you get consistently low values (below 90%), this may be a sign of an underlying condition. Only a licensed doctor can tell you if something is wrong.
How to enable blood oxygen monitoring on your Apple Watch
The Blood Oxygen app works on Apple Watch Series 6 and later and runs watchOS 7 or higher. You must use an iPhone 6s or higher with iOS 14 or higher to activate the feature. This feature does not work on Apple Watches with the Family Setup application or for anyone under 18 years of age.
This feature must be activated manually during the installation of the Apple Watch. If you did not get the question, you can activate it from the Watch app.
Open the Watch app on your iPhone. On the “My Clock” tab, select “Oxygen in the blood.”
Here you switch to the “Blood Oxygen Measurements” option.
This function automatically enables background measurements in idle mode. You can also enable the “In theater (or movie) mode” in the “Allow background measurements” section.
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How to measure your oxygen levels in the blood
Once you have activated the feature, it is easy to get a blood oxygen search from Apple Watch.
Tap Digital Crown on the right side of your Apple Watch to open the app galaxy screen. Select the Blood Oxygen app here.
Press “Start” to start the measurement. The process takes 15 seconds. During that time, rest your wrist on a table or other flat surface.
After 15 seconds, you see your oxygen levels in the blood. Press “Done” to save the reading. The readings are also saved automatically in the Health app on your iPhone.
How to get accurate blood oxygen readings on the Apple Watch
Apple Watch oxygen readings can be spotty and inconsistent. However, the following tips can help you get more accurate and consistent readings:
- Your Apple Watch should have a snug fit; not too loose or too hard.
- Make sure your Apple Watch is flat against your wrist, but not on your leg.
- When measuring blood oxygen levels, keep your wrist flat and up.
- Rest your wrist on a table or flat surface for a full 15 seconds.
- Keep your fingers open without touching or tapping them.
- Remain as still as possible for the 15 seconds. Do not use this function when moving or in a car.
- Do not tap or interact with the Apple Watch when making a measurement.
This should address the issues of reliability. Apple also says that blood oxygen monitoring can be affected by other things. For example, it does not work if you have dark tattoos on your wrist, in areas with skin perfusion, when you move, in cold weather or if your resting heart rate is higher than 150 beats per minute.
How to view blood oxygen data on iPhone
When the blood oxygen monitoring function is activated, it logs data in the background. This background monitor is what sets the Apple Watch apart from a standard blood oxygen monitor.
To view all blood oxygen information, open the “Health” app on your iPhone. Press “Summary” and then select “View all health data.”
Press “Blood Oxygen.”
You see a chart with all available data. You can switch between daily, weekly, monthly or annual views at the top.
To view all data, swipe down, then tap “View All Data.”
Here you see a reverse chronological list of readings; tap one to see more information. If you want to monitor your blood oxygen regularly from the Health app, you can add it in the Favorites section.
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