Both studies reported that smartphone pulse oximeters were accurate. These data corroborate with our study that demonstrated that despite a tendency to present higher values, when compared to conventional oximetry devices, the Apple Watch device was accurate and similar.
A new study published on Scientific Report, an online multidisciplinary, open-access journal from the publishers of Nature, shows that the Apple Watch Series 6 “is a reliable way to obtain heart rate and oxygen saturation (SpO2) in patients with lung diseases under controlled conditions.”
Smart watches aren't terribly accurate at measuring your oxygen saturation. Get yourself a finger pulse oximeter at any drug store. If your SpO2 is indeed falling below 90%, you need to see your healthcare provider.
Overall, the study says that “despite a tendency to present higher values when compared to conventional oximetry devices, the Apple Watch device was accurate and similar” although it's important to note that results were made “under controlled conditions.”
If you're concerned about your oxygen levels during exercise, the New Apple Watch Series 6 could be helpful for you to take on-demand readings of your blood oxygen levels. However, to get valid and reliable blood oxygen levels, you should use the gold-standard pulse oximeter.
2:289:54So the sensor on the watch 4 is very good guys very accurate. Look at that 83 84 now 84 to 85 85 84.MoreSo the sensor on the watch 4 is very good guys very accurate. Look at that 83 84 now 84 to 85 85 84.. It's just remarkable guys. So you can really really rely on this.
Open the Health app. Tap the Browse tab, then tap Respiratory > Blood Oxygen.
These data corroborate with our study that demonstrated that despite a tendency to present higher values, when compared to conventional oximetry devices, the Apple Watch device was accurate and similar.
Pulse oximeter accuracy is highest at saturations of 90-100%, intermediate at 80-90%, and lowest below 80%.
Prescription oximeters typically have an accuracy rate within 4% above or below the reading. In other words, if your oxygen level is 92%, it could actually be as low as 88% or as high as 96%.
The Blood Oxygen app can allow you to measure the oxygen level of your blood on-demand directly from your wrist, providing you with insights into your overall wellness. Measurements taken with the Blood Oxygen app are not intended for medical use and are only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.
Along with step-tracking, Apple's health-related features include an ECG heart monitor, sync technology for gym equipment and a meditation app. Apple Watch's blood oxygen reader, often referred to as an oximeter, can measure blood oxygen levels on command.
Even under ideal conditions, your Apple Watch may not be able to get a reliable blood oxygen measurement every time. For a small percentage of users, various factors may make it impossible to get any blood oxygen measurement. Skin perfusion (or how much blood flows through your skin) can impact measurements.
Schrading and colleagues evaluated three iPhone pulse oximetry apps in a study published in 2019, and found that they couldn't reliably identify people who did not have enough oxygen. Their findings were consistent with other studies, which also found that pulse oximetry apps were inaccurate.
This much is clear: Don't buy one of these $400 devices in the hopes of monitoring your lung health. An Apple oxygen check a day will not keep the doctor away, at least not yet.