During Apple's live broadcast in mid-September 2020, the company announced that its new watch will be able to measure blood oxygen levels. The sensor takes only about 15 seconds to show the measurement result, and it appears on the screen as a percentage.
According to the press release, the watch relies on four groups of green, red and infrared LEDs, working with light sensors, to measure the light reflected from the blood. In addition, it periodically monitors the oxygen levels in the user's blood while he is asleep or relaxed.
The advantage the company is offering for the first time is especially important in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the significant increase in sales of pulse oximeters that record heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Doctors have noticed an exceptionally low blood oxygen levels in some people with Covid-19, and a number of health experts believe that early detection of this symptom known as hypoxia, may save many lives.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that everyone will rush to buy pulse oximeters, or Apple watches with its sixth edition.
Denyse Lutchmansingh, a pulmonologist at Yale Medicine University, said in a statement to the university, "If you start to have symptoms of hypoxia, it is time to measure the oxygen level in your blood."
Oxygenometers play an important role in monitoring patients' condition. “The oxygen level of Covid-19 patients who are monitored in their homes is a critical factor in making the decision to transfer any of them to the hospital,” Lutchmansingh explained.
Despite the medical importance of the new Apple Watch, the company preferred to market it within the framework of public health care, at least for the time being.
According to the technology giant, it has collaborated with health researchers "to explore the possibility of employing blood oxygen levels in future health-related applications."
The company hopes that such cooperation will help determine whether the new medical features in Apple watches "are capable of issuing early warnings for a number of respiratory diseases such as influenza and Covid-19."