Categories
Planning

How to measure your blood oxygen levels with your apple watch

С помощью приложения «Кислород в крови» на Apple Watch Series 6 или новее можно измерить уровень кислорода, переносимого красными кровяными тельцами из легких по всему телу. Уровень насыщения крови кислородом — важный показатель, который может помочь в оценке общего состояния здоровья и физического тонуса.

Примечание. Приложение «Кислород в крови» доступно не во всех регионах. Приложение «Кислород в крови» не предназначено для использования в медицинских целях.

Настройка приложения «Кислород в крови»

Откройте приложение «Настройки» на Apple Watch.

Коснитесь «Кислород в крови», затем включите параметр «Измерения уровня кислорода в крови».

Выключение фоновых измерений при активном фокусировании «Сон» или в режиме «Театр»

Во время измерения уровня кислорода в крови на Ваше запястье светит яркий красный луч, который может быть более заметным в темноте. Если этот свет Вас отвлекает, измерение можно выключить.

Откройте приложение «Настройки» на Apple Watch.

Коснитесь «Кислород в крови», затем выключите параметры «При фокусировании “Сон”» и «В Режиме театра».

Измерения уровня кислорода в крови

Если включены фоновые измерения, приложение «Кислород в крови» периодически измеряет уровень кислорода в крови в течение дня, однако Вы также можете в любой момент провести измерение вручную.

Откройте приложение «Кислород в крови» на Apple Watch.

Положите руку на стол или на колени. Запястье должно покоиться на поверхности, а дисплей Apple Watch должен быть направлен вверх.

Коснитесь «Начать», затем не двигайте рукой во время 15-секундного обратного отсчета.

По окончании измерения Вы увидите результаты. Коснитесь «Готово».

Примечание. Для более точной работы необходимо, чтобы задняя поверхность Apple Watch соприкасалась с кожей. Чтобы успешно измерить уровень кислорода в крови, рекомендуется не затягивать ремешок Apple Watch слишком туго, однако он также не должен сидеть слишком свободно. Между ремешком и Вашей кожей должен оставаться небольшой зазор, позволяющий коже дышать. Подробную информацию см. в статье службы поддержки Apple о том, Как использовать приложение «Кислород в крови» на Apple Watch Series 6.

Просмотр истории измерений уровня кислорода в крови

Откройте приложение «Здоровье» на iPhone.

Коснитесь «Обзор» > «Частота дыхания», затем коснитесь «Кислород в крови».

Загрузить руководство: Apple Books

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.

The Blood Oxygen app is only available in certain countries and regions. Learn where the Blood Oxygen app is available.

What is blood oxygen

Your blood oxygen level represents the percentage of oxygen your red blood cells carry from your lungs to the rest of your body. Knowing how well your blood performs this vital task can help you understand your overall wellness.

The majority of people have a blood oxygen level of 95 – 100%. However, some people live a normal life with blood oxygen levels below 95%. Slightly lower values while sleeping are expected, and some users might experience values below 95%.

How to use the Blood Oxygen app

Make sure that you meet the below requirements and follow the steps to set up the Blood Oxygen app.

Here’s what you need

  • Make sure that the Blood Oxygen app is available in your country or region. You will be able to see this during the setup process.
  • Update your iPhone 6s or later to the latest version of iOS.
  • Update your Apple Watch Series 6 or Series 7 to the latest version of watchOS.*
  • The Blood Oxygen app is not available for use by people under 18 years old. You can confirm or set up your age in your Health Profile.

*The Blood Oxygen app is not available if you set up your Apple Watch with Family Setup.

Set up the Blood Oxygen app and background readings

  1. On your iPhone, open the Health app.
  2. Follow the onscreen steps. If you don’t see a prompt to set up, tap the Browse tab, then tap Respiratory > Blood Oxygen > Enable.
  3. After you complete setup, open the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch to measure your blood oxygen levels.

If you still don’t see the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch, you can search the App Store on your Apple Watch for Blood Oxygen and download it.

The Blood Oxygen app is installed during the setup in the Health app. If you deleted the Blood Oxygen app, you can install it again from the App Store on your Apple Watch if you’ve completed the Blood Oxygen app setup.

How to take a blood oxygen measurement

You can take a blood oxygen measurement at any time with the Blood Oxygen app.

  1. Make sure that your Apple Watch is snug but comfortable on your wrist.
  2. Open the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch.
  3. Stay still, and make sure your wrist is flat with the Apple Watch facing up.
  4. Tap Start, then keep your arm steady for 15 seconds.
  5. Wait. The measurement takes 15 seconds. At the end of the measurement, you will receive the results.
  6. Tap Done.

How to get the best results

  1. Rest your arms on a table or in your lap while you take a measurement. Keep your wrist and palm down and flat, and hold as still as you can.
  2. Make sure that your Apple Watch isn’t loose on your wrist. The band should be snug but comfortable, and the back of your Apple Watch needs to be touching your wrist.
  3. Make sure that the back of your Apple Watch is flush with the top of your wrist. If your wrist bones interfere with this, move your watch 1 to 2 inches up your arm away from your wrist bone.

Additional factors

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. Skin perfusion varies significantly from person to person and can also be impacted by the environment. If you are out in the cold, for example, the skin perfusion in your wrist might be too low for the sensor to work with the Blood Oxygen app to get a measurement.
  • Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult for the Blood Oxygen app to get a measurement.
  • Motion is another factor that can affect your ability to get successful background or on-demand measurements. Certain postures, such as arms hanging by your side or fingers in a fist position will also result in unsuccessful measurements.
  • If your heart rate is too high (above 150 bpm) while at rest, you won’t be able to get a successful blood oxygen measurement.

About background measurements

The Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch will occasionally measure your blood oxygen levels if background measurements are on. This will usually happen when you are not moving. Depending on how active you are, the number of readings collected each day and the time between these readings will vary. Blood oxygen measurements use a bright red light that shines against your wrist, so it may be more visible in dark environments. If you find the light distracting, you can turn off background measurements.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap Blood Oxygen, then turn off In Sleep Focus and In Theater Mode.

Blood oxygen measurements only occur during sleep if the Track Sleep with Apple Watch setting is turned on.

How the Blood Oxygen app works

In Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7, the optical heart sensor has been redesigned to add blood oxygen measurement capabilities. During a blood oxygen measurement, the back crystal shines red and green LEDs and infrared light onto your wrist. Photodiodes then measure the amount of light reflected back.

Advanced algorithms use this data to calculate the color of your blood. The color determines your blood oxygen level — bright red blood has more oxygen, while dark red blood has less.

Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier’s blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet. Read more.

On the Apple Watch Series 6 and newer, you can measure your blood oxygen levels right from your wrist. We’ll walk you through it!

How Blood Oxygen Monitoring on Apple Watch Works

Apple states that the blood oxygen monitoring feature isn’t intended for medical use. Rather, it was designed for “general fitness and wellness purposes.” Unlike the EKG feature, the blood oxygen monitor didn’t go through rigorous FDA testing and certification.

There’s a reason why Apple puts this warning upfront. The Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch isn’t completely reliable. Compared to a simple finger-based blood oxygen monitor, it doesn’t provide the most accurate results.

The inaccuracy is due to the fact that the Apple Watch measures your blood oxygen levels through your wrist. The wearable features four LEDs and photodiodes on the back of the watch. It fires green, red, and infrared LEDs onto the blood vessels in your wrist. The photodiodes then gauge the amount of light reflected back.

Apple has built a special algorithm engine that collects all this data to figure out how much oxygen is present in your blood based on color.

The Apple Watch can measure between 70-100% blood oxygen levels. Generally, 95-100% is considered the normal range. If you get consistently low readings (below 90%), this might be a sign of an underlying condition. Only a licensed physician can tell you for sure if something is wrong.

How to Enable Blood Oxygen Monitoring on Apple Watch

The Blood Oxygen app works on Apple Watch Series 6 and newer, running watchOS 7 or higher. You’ll need to use an iPhone 6s or higher, running iOS 14 or higher, to enable the feature. This feature doesn’t work on Apple Watches using the Family Setup program or for anyone under age 18.

The feature has to be enabled manually, during the Apple Watch’s setup process. If you didn’t get the prompt, you can enable it from the Watch app.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone. In the “My Watch” tab, select “Blood Oxygen.”

Here, toggle-On the “Blood Oxygen Measurements” option.

This feature automatically enables background measurements in Sleep mode. You can also enable it “In Theater (or Cinema) Mode” in the “Allow Background Measurements” section.

How to Measure Your Blood Oxygen Levels

Once you’ve enabled the feature, getting a blood oxygen reading from the Apple Watch is quite straightforward.

Press the Digital Crown on the right side of your Apple Watch to open the app galaxy screen. Here, select the Blood Oxygen app.

Tap “Start” to begin the measurement. The process takes 15 seconds. During that time, rest your wrist on a table or other flat surface.

After 15 seconds, you’ll see your blood oxygen levels. Tap “Done” to save the reading. The readings are also automatically saved in the Health app on your iPhone.

How to Get Accurate Blood Oxygen Readings on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch blood oxygen readings can be flaky 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 tight.
  • Make sure your Apple Watch lies flat against your wrist, but not on the bone.
  • When measuring your blood oxygen levels, hold your wrist flat and faceup.
  • Rest your wrist on a table or flat surface for the entire 15 seconds.
  • Keep your fingers open without moving or tapping them.
  • Remain as still as possible during those 15 seconds. Don’t use this feature when you’re moving around or in a car.
  • Don’t tap the Apple Watch or interact with it when taking a measurement.

This should take care of the reliability issues. Apple also says that blood oxygen monitoring might be affected by other things. For example, it won’t work if you have dark tattoos on your wrist, on areas with skin perfusion, when you’re moving around, in cold weather, or if your resting heart rate is higher than 150 bpm.

How to View Blood Oxygen Data on iPhone

Once the blood oxygen monitoring feature is enabled, it will log data in the background. This background monitoring is what sets the Apple Watch apart from a regular blood oxygen monitor.

To view all blood oxygen data, open the “Health” app on your iPhone. Tap “Summary,” and then choose “Show All Health Data.”

Tap “Blood Oxygen.”

You’ll see a chart with all the available data. You can switch between the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly views at the top.

To view all data, swipe down, and then tap “Show All Data.”

Here, you’ll see a reverse-chronological list of readings; tap one to see more details. If you want to monitor your blood oxygen regularly from the Health app, you can add it to the Favorites section.

New to the Apple Watch? Check out these Apple Watch tips and tricks.

How to use the Apple Watch’s newest health sensor, available with the Series 6.

Sarah Mitroff is a senior editor for CNET, managing our health, fitness and wellness content. She’s written for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.

The new Apple Watch Series 6 comes with a blood oxygen sensor and an accompanying app to give you more ways to monitor your heart and respiratory health. Together they measure your oxygen saturation (SpO2) in your blood — how much oxygen from your lungs your red blood cells pick up and transport to all of the other parts of your body.

Low blood oxygen levels, or hypoxemia, have been linked to COVID-19 because the disease affects your ability to get enough oxygen. Doctors have used SpO2 levels to determine the severity of COVID-19 cases and treat those patients accordingly.

But hypoxemia can be caused by many other heart and lung issues, such as asthma, pneumonia and congenital heart disease. By monitoring your SpO2, your Apple Watch might be able to warn you of potential health issues before you realize you have them, or at least that’s Apple’s hope, anyway.

Here’s how to use the Blood Oxygen feature on the Apple Watch Series 6 — it’s currently only available for the Series 6, not any other models. Also worth noting that Apple says on its website the Blood Oxygen app isn’t available in all countries or regions. You’ll be able to see when you set up the app if you can use it or not.

How does the blood oxygen sensor work?

The blood oxygen sensor is built into the back of the Apple Watch. It uses four clusters of red, green and infrared LED lights and four photodiodes, devices that convert light into an electrical current. The lights shine onto the blood vessels in your wrist and the photodiodes measure how much light bounces back.

I won’t get into the medical specifics, but essentially oxygenated and deoxygenated blood absorb red and infrared light differently, so the light that bounces back allows the Apple Watch to determine the color of your blood.

Bright red blood is oxygenated, while dark red blood has less oxygen, either because it’s been delivering oxygen to your organs and muscles or it’s not getting enough oxygen from your lungs.

If you want to dig into exactly how pulse oximeters work, check out this article published in the Respiratory Medicine medical journal.

How do you use the Blood Oxygen app?

With the Apple Watch Series 6, you can get an on-demand reading of your SpO2. To get started, Apple says to make sure the wrist fits snugly on your wrist, but still feels comfortable.

Next, open the app and follow the prompts on the screen. Make sure your wrist is flat and the watch is facing up. Stay still while the Apple Watch starts the reading.

The reading takes 15 seconds, and once it’s done you’ll see the percentage of oxygen in your blood pop up on the watch screen.

According to Apple, to get the best results you should rest your arm on a table or in your lap and make sure the watch sits flush with your wrist. If your wrist bone gets in the way of that, move your watch up your arm.

You can set up background measurements so that your Apple Watch takes periodic readings throughout the day when you’re inactive, like when you’re lying on the couch or sleeping. You can toggle on that setting in the Blood Oxygen app.

All of your blood oxygen readings will sync to the Apple Health app .

Factors that can affect the reading

As with any biometric sensors on a watch, there are various factors that can affect the results you get from the Blood Oxygen app.

People with tattoos on their wrist may get false readings because the tattoo ink can make it hard for the light to reach your blood vessels. The amount of blood flowing through your skin, which can be affected by the temperature around you and varies from person to person, can also affect the results.

It’s also important to stay still and have your arm resting with your fingers relaxed to get an accurate reading. If your arm is hanging by your side or your hand is making a fist, Apple says that you might not be able to get a reading.

See also

  • Apple unveils colorful iPad Airs, 8th gen iPad
  • Apple announces new Apple Watch Series 6, adding ability to measure blood oxygen
  • How to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 when it launches
  • WatchOS 7 arrives. Here’s how to update your Apple Watch
  • Full coverage of Apple’s event

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Did you know that your Apple Watch can be utilized as a pulse oximeter of sorts? That’s right, you don’t have to spend extra money on a separate device to get blood oxygen data. This is a feature on the newer Apple Watch models, and it’s pretty straightforward to use too.

For those who aren’t aware, a pulse oximeter is a device that’s used to determine your pulse rate as well as the oxygen concentration in your bloodstream. This particular device is high in demand these days due to the global Covid pandemic, but if you have an Apple Watch Series 6 or later, you don’t need one as it can do both of those things with its internal sensors.

Want to quickly find out your blood oxygen readings and make sure everything’s normal? Read along and you’ll be learning how to use your Apple Watch as a pulse oximeter.

How to Measure Blood Oxygen Level with Apple Watch

As mentioned earlier, this is a new feature that’s only available on Apple Watch Series 6 and newer models. As long as you have a supported Apple Watch, just follow these steps:

    Press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to access the home screen full of apps. Scroll around and find the Blood Oxygen app. Tap on it.

You’ll see the welcome screen and upon tapping on “Next”, you’ll be shown tips to help you accurately take the measurement.

Make sure your Apple Watch is not too low on your wrist and the watch band is snug. Now, tap on “Start” and try not to move while keeping your Apple Watch facing up.

Upon starting, you’ll get a 15 second countdown timer during which your blood oxygen levels will be measured. Keep your hand still for the entire duration.

Once complete, you should be able to see the percentage of oxygen in your blood. Tap on “Done” to exit the app.

It’s that easy to take a blood oxygen measurement with your Apple Watch. Did you get the reading on your first attempt?

Some users may fail to get a reading on their first attempt. You’ll see “Unsuccessful Measurement” in the results screen once the countdown ends. This is probably because you moved your wrist or tapped your Apple Watch while taking the measurement, but you can try again and stay still next time.

For the average healthy adult, a blood oxygen reading of 96% to 100% is considered ideal. People with chronic health conditions may see slightly lower readings, particularly those with issues that effect their lungs, blood, or breathing. If you find that your reading is low, you’ll want to get in touch with a doctor or emergency department right away.

Although Apple Watch makes it convenient to keep an eye on your blood oxygen levels, it cannot replace a medical-grade pulse oximeter, as the feature is still in its early stages and not entirely accurate. Apple does state that its only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.

Every time you take a measurement, you may get a slightly different reading. Therefore, it’s best to take multiple readings over the course of a few minutes and find out the average levels. Also, we’d like to inform you that the Blood Oxygen app is not available in all countries and regions.

Do you use Apple Watch to monitor Blood Oxygen levels? Do you own a pulse oximeter as well? If so, how close were the readings on both these devices? Share your personal experiences with us in the comments section.

Updated on June 4, 2022

There was a time when people are used to wearing a mechanical or digital watch. In this new era of technology, the choices were the same, but now the smartwatches replace the old-designed mechanical watches. Currently, there are many smart wearables available in the market that brings a revolution in the smartwatch category, and Apple is one of them. Every year, Apple launches almost one or two series of smartwatches that everyone dreamed to buys.

However, talking about the specification of these watches, then you’ll get every feature that you need. For example, it has sensors to measure blood oxygen level, blood pressure, etc. But, it is seen that not many users are familiar with these features and don’t even know how to use them. So, today here in this guide, we tell you how to use the essential feature of the Apple watch, i.e., measuring the blood oxygen level.

How To Measure Blood Oxygen on an Apple Watch

As an engineer, I often live at the intersection of gadgets and technology. Naturally, therefore, new gadgets attract me more than anything in this world. However, when it comes to wearable, then I become choosy to find the best among the best. Meanwhile, naturally, wearable biosensors have piqued my interest over the last several years. And in this term, Apple’s smartwatch series fascinated me in recent times by their specification.

Well, this is my own perception, and it is possible that you may like any other device. Anyway, let’s know a little bit about blood oxygen because not everyone is familiar with this kind of biological term.

What is Blood Oxygen And Why is it Important Consider?

Blood Oxygen level is the quantity of O2 present in your blood. In biological terms, it may be defined as the fraction of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin that is relative to total hemoglobin present in the human blood.

However, it is very important that we take care of our health in today’s busy life. However, in this process, Apple Watch helps us a lot. From Pedometer to Blood Oxygen measure sensor, this smartwatch has everything. Now, how does this smart device measure the blood oxygen level? Well, these watches come with a special sensor, i.e., a blood oxygen sensor that tracks your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). This sensor uses a red and infrared light sensor to measure your blood O2 level.

Steps To Measure the Blood Oxygen Level in Apple Watch

Here are some simple steps that you need to follow in order to measure your blood oxygen level in Apple Watch. But, make sure to take the precautions as mentioned in the steps below:

  1. Firstly, to do this, you need to open the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Then, set up your health app by following the on-screen guideline. However, the prompt to set up screen is not pop-ups, then you can simply tap the Browse tab, then follow the path: Respiratory > Blood Oxygen > Set up Blood Oxygen.
  3. Now, once you’ve completed the setup process, you require to take your Apple Watch and open the Blood Oxygen app to measure your blood oxygen levels.
  4. Then, wear it on your wrist and rest your arm on a table or similar thing (for better results). Also, make sure your Apple Watch is facing up.
  5. That’s it. Now, hit the Start button on your Watch and let your arm relax for 15 seconds. Now, once the measurement is finished, you’ll get your results and the stats you can see on your iPhone’s health app.

So, that’s how you can measure your blood O2 level. We hope this guide helped you. Meanwhile, if you have any problem while setting up the Watch or application, make sure to comment below. We will indeed try our best to help you further.

Apple introduces Apple Watch Series 6 with the blood oxygen level monitor feature. You can measure the amount of oxygen in your blood using the Apple Watch without any extra equipment.

Let us see how to use the blood oxygen app on Apple Watch to measure the oxygen level in your blood.

Measure Blood Oxygen Level on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 6 has an optical blood oxygen sensor that you can use to find out the amount of oxygen in your blood. The Blood O2 app on your new Apple Watch can do this for you. Here is how.

  1. Open the Blood O2 app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap the Start button.
  3. Wait for 15 seconds, or until the watch finishes measuring.
  4. See your blood oxygen level on the screen.

Your blood oxygen level determines whether you are having a healthy time. The amount of oxygen in your blood is responsible for the wellness of your lungs, liver, and other body parts.

Note: Blood Oxygen measure on Apple Watch is not always accurate. Apple says this not to be used as medical equipment, but as a personal health care monitoring device. And, No, it cannot diagnose COVID-19 for you.

  • GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist

Get Blood Oxygen Level Data on iPhone Health App.

As you know, Apple Watch syncs data with the iPhone every time it pairs with one. Likewise, you can get all the measure Blood Oxygen level data from Apple Watch to your iPhone health app.

  1. Pair and sync Apple Watch with your iPhone.
  2. Open the Health app on your iPhone.
  3. From the Summary tab, go to All Health Data.
  4. Tap on Blood Oxygen.
  5. Find out the whole historical data of the oxygen level in your blood.

You can find the blood oxygen level graph on the window. You can also find the average oxygen level for a whole week or at a specified time.

Troubleshoot: Apple Watch Oxygen Monitor Not Working

As said, the Blood Oxygen monitor in Apple Watch is not as accurate as a clinical pulse oximeter. Sometimes, it shows the wrong data or no data at all. Let us see the possible causes for this and troubleshoot them.

  • Do not wear the watch too tight or too loose.
  • If you just bought the SoloLoop watch band, make sure it is the right fit for your wrist. Otherwise, the Blood Oxygen measure will not work.
  • Make sure your hand is relaxed and in an upright position.
  • Do not try to move your hand while measuring.
  • Make sure the watch rests on the flat surface of your hand.
  • Make sure nothing is blocking the blood oxygen sensor at the back of your watch.
  • If it is not reading properly, move the watch a little bit and try again.
  • Avoid wearing your watch over dark tattoos, patches, bandages, etc.
  • Try measuring blood oxygen when you are in a relaxed state.

Remember, Apple Watch is not medical equipment, and it cannot be used to measure your health like pulse oxymeters available in the market. Also, Blood Oxygen measures can work under optimal conditions only.

Disclosure: Mashtips is supported by its audience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

By Andrew Myrick 0 comments Last updated October 21, 2020

Some may argue that the biggest feature of the Apple Watch Series 6 is the fact that it is two and a half times brighter than the Series 5. However, it’s clear that the Apple Watch is turned into an extension of your body and health, along with being an extension of your iPhone.

Related Reading

  • How to Check Your Blood Oxygen Levels with the Apple Watch
  • How to Share Apple Watch Faces with watchOS 7
  • Apple unveils Watch Series 6 and Watch SE
  • How to Use Your Apple Watch to Create Memoji
  • The Apple Watch SE Review: Is Your Next Upgrade A Downgrade?

This was evidenced by the introduction of the dedicated Blood Oxygen (SpO2) sensor that was included. We have seen countless stories of how the Apple Watch detected an abnormality, resulting in someone’s doctor catching an underlying health issue that ultimately saves their life. While not on the same level as something like the Heart Rate monitor, the SpO2 sensor comes close.

What Apple Watch(es) work can measure Blood Oxygen Levels?

With every iteration of the Apple Watch, and just about every other Apple device, there’s a “defining feature”. The iPhone X saw the removal of the Home Button. The Apple Watch Series 3 introduced LTE connectivity. The iPad Pro 2020 introduced LiDAR and the A12Z Bionic.

The trend continues with the Apple Watch Series 6, marking the first wearable from Apple to measure Blood Oxygen (SpO2) levels. This means that if you own a smartwatch older than the Series 6, including the Watch SE, you’ll have to purchase a separate Pulse Oximeter.

How does the Blood Oxygen Sensor work?

The new SpO2 sensor is built into the back of the Apple Watch, along with the other health sensors which rest on your wrist. When measuring your levels, there are four clusters of red, green and infrared LED lights, which work with four photodiodes to convert light into an electrical current. The lights shine onto the blood vessels in your wrist, with the photodiodes measuring how much light bounces back.

The color of your blood helps to determine how much oxygen is in your blood. Oxygenated blood is bright red, while dark red blood usually indicates that there’s less oxygen. If your blood does not have enough oxygen, it could mean that your lungs are not providing enough. If you’re concerned with the readings from your Apple Watch Series 6, be sure to call your health care professional and ask questions.

How to measure Blood Oxygen levels with Apple Watch

If you’re the proud owner of the Apple Watch Series 6, then you probably want to know how you can check your SpO2 levels. It’s actually pretty easy to get setup, but you’ll need to make sure that the sensor is enabled first.

Enable Blood Oxygen Measurements

In order to take your Blood Oxygen measurements, you’ll need to make sure that the feature is enabled first. This is quick and easy, and here is how:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom.
  3. Scroll down and select Blood Oxygen from the menu.
  4. Tap on the toggle next to Blood Oxygen Measurements to turn the feature on.

There are a couple of more settings available for checking your SpO2 levels with the Apple Watch. While you can actively choose to check your levels whenever the Apple Watch is also capable of taking readings in the background throughout the day. These are the other two options you may want to enable:

  • Allow Background Measurements
    • In Sleep Mode
    • In Theater Mode
      The only thing to consider, primarily in Theater Mode, is that a bright red light is emitted from the bottom of the Watch during readings. If you’re actually a movie theater and your Watch starts showing off that light, you may end up disturbing those around you.

Check Blood Oxygen levels

Once you have enabled Blood Oxygen measurements on your iPhone, the fun can begin. Here’s how you can check your Blood Oxygen (SpO2) levels from your Apple Watch Series 6:

  1. Open the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Ensure that your Apple Watch is snug, but comfortable, and isn’t loose on your wrist.
  3. Rest your arm on a table, make sure your wrist is flat, and the Apple Watch display is facing up.
  4. Tap Start.
  5. Hold your arm completely still for the duration of the 15-second countdown.
  6. View your results.
  7. Tap Done.

Your results will be shown immediately after the test has finished being administered. You can then tap the Done button to go back to the main screen. For reference, Apple states that “the majority of people have a blood oxygen level of 95 – 99%”. But again, if you have any concerns, reach out to your Health Care professional.

These results will also be recorded in Apple’s Health application, which is pre-installed on all iPhones. Even if you aren’t actively checking your SpO2 levels, there is some testing that’s done in the background when you don’t even know it. All of this is recorded, so you can identify if something is off, while being able to provide the necessary information to your health care professional.

Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.

He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.

Apple Watch Series 6 is equipped with blood oxygen monitoring app. This means you can use your Apple Watch to measure the oxygen level of your blood.

Apple says the Blood Oxygen monitoring on the Apple Watch is intended for fitness and wellness purposes only and is not intended for medical use.

Knowing what blood oxygen means and what it represents is crucial for taking advantage of this new reading on the Apple Watch. So before we tell you how to use Apple Watch to check blood oxygen levels let’s figure out what blood oxygen level actually is.

What is blood oxygen level?

Blood oxygen level is a percentage that tells us the amount of oxygen our blood is carrying from our lungs to the rest of the body. A normal blood oxygen level is around 95% – 100% whereas it can also be below 95% for people living normal lives. The percentage may also drop below 95% when you are sleeping.

Apple Watch uses the advance Blood oxygen sensor and optical heart sensor to measure your blood oxygen level. After taking the reading the Watch uses advanced algorithms to calculate the color of the blood. Red blood means more oxygen while dark red blood means less oxygen.

How to check blood oxygen levels with Apple Watch

You can check blood oxygen levels on your Apple Watch Series 6 or later by following the simple steps below.

Setting up Blood Oxygen app

Step 1: On your iPhone open the Health app. If you don’t see a prompt for Blood Oxygen go to Browse -> Respiratory -> Blood Oxygen -> Set up Blood Oxygen.

Step 2: Finally open the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch to start measuring blood oxygen levels.

Checking Blood Oxygen Levels

Step 1: Make sure your Apple Watch is on your wrist and in a snug position. Also make sure you stay still during the reading process and your wrist is flat in a way Apple Watch is facing upwards.

Step 2: Press the Digital Crown button and then open the Blood Oxygen app from the home screen.

Step 3: Tap on the Start button to start taking the measurement. Keep your arm steady for 15 seconds.

Step 4: After 15 seconds have passed you will be shown your Blood Oxygen measurement.

Step 5: Tap on the Done button to proceed.

Check historical Blood Oxygen data

You can check your previous Blood Oxygen level readings and keep track of your data for days, weeks, months and even years. You can get access to this recorded data on your iPhone. Simply head over to Health app and open Browse -> Respiratory -> Blood Oxygen. There you will find historical data of your readings.

The Apple Watch Series 6 can calculate how much oxygen that is in your blood, which could identify asthma attack, heart failure, or even COVID-19.

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a new great sensor that can measure oxygen levels in the blood. It is surely its main gimcrack and could have a real benefit in monitoring your health and anticipating the first symptoms of conditions such as heart failure, asthma or coronavirus.

Apple Watch Series 6

How does Apple Watch measure oxygen levels?

Table of Contents

To make it possible to calculate blood oxygen saturation, Apple had to change the distribution of the sensors at the bottom of the Apple Watch with the new Series 6. Now, in addition to the green and infrared LEDs, there is another red and some extra photodiodes.

The operation of the oxygen calculation is the same (or very similar) to that of the pulse: the group of four LEDs illuminate your skin and blood vessels; photodiodes record the light that is reflected and use algorithms to calculate how much oxygen is being carried by the red blood cells.

This calculation is based on the fact that the more oxygen in the red blood cells, the redder the blood will be. The protein responsible for transporting oxygen, hemoglobin, contains iron capable of binding oxygen molecules. With this union, the color goes from dark red to light red, a change that the Apple Watch’s photodiodes can detect.

Apple Watch needs a new app to do this calculation. This app serves as a guide for the user throughout the calculation and shows the data on the screen. Information is also added in the Health app in a new section called ‘Blood Oxygen’.

What data is offered?

According to Apple, normal blood oxygen saturation is between 95% and 99%, but in some people, it may be lower. When you sleep, your saturation can drop below 95%.

Knowing how much oxygen is in our blood is medically important as it can help identify heart failure (when the heart cannot pump enough blood, as in the case of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) ). It can also alert you to an asthma attack, or if you are experiencing breathing problems due to COVID.

What do you need?

The Apple Watch Series 6 is the only Apple Watch capable of measuring oxygen in the blood. You will need to have watchOS 7 installed and be linked to an iPhone that also has iOS 14 installed.

As with the ACG app, the oxygen measurement app can only be activated by users over 18 years of age. The user must also be of legal age to share information from their Apple Watch with the iPhone of a family member.

How to measure blood oxygen with Apple Watch

Before you can start measuring your blood oxygen, you must configure the app:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Click on the ‘Browse’ tab.
  3. Now select ‘Breathing’.
  4. Choose ‘Blood Oxygen’ and activate the option.

To make sure the app works properly, Apple recommends using it sitting down. Also, you should not move your hand, as it is important that the watch is straight on your wrist and does not fall.

The calculation takes 15 seconds, after which you will see the percentage of your blood oxygen on the screen.

How to measure blood oxygen in the background

The watch can measure blood oxygen in the background, even without the app open. These readings typically occur when the user is not moving. But for the Apple Watch to do it while you sleep, you must activate it in the Health app.

The results of the readings in the background can also be seen in the Health app, in the section dedicated to the respiratory system. Since the red light could be a nuisance in the dark, the app on the watch allows you to disable background readings. It may be the case, for example, when you are in the theater.

Why might the Apple Watch not get an accurate calculation?

  • If your heart rate is very high (150 beats per minute or higher), the watch cannot accurately measure oxygen levels.
  • A tattoo on the wrist right where the sensors go can lead to inaccurate results. Certain types of tattoos and colors can block the light from the sensors completely, preventing reading.
  • Apple has realized that if the arms are close to the body, or the hands in the shape of a fist, the results can be altered.
  • If it is very cold, the properties of the blood flow can change, which can also lead to altered results.

Remember that the only way to measure blood oxygen is by having an Apple Watch Series 6

· Updated 29 March 2022 ·

– The Apple Watch can track blood oxygen – but what does it all mean?

(Pocket-lint) – Apple may have arrived a little late to the party, but its latest smartwatch models finally offer SpO2 monitoring.

The blood oxygen monitoring feature has become a mainstay in wearables from Fitbit and Garmin over the past few years, but pulse oximetry didn’t really hit the mainstream until Apple debuted the feature alongside the Series 6 in 2020.

So, you’re probably wondering what exactly your blood oxygen levels are, why they matter and, frankly, how the Apple Watch keeps an eye on them?

Below, we’ll be answering all these questions – including how the new Apple Watch feature could be used with COVID concerns.

If you want details on how to use blood oxygen monitoring on Apple Watch, we also have a dedicated how-to guide.

What is blood oxygen monitoring?

Blood oxygen levels – also known as SpO2 – refer to the percentage of oxygen being carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body, as well as how well this oxygenated blood is being delivered.

Using pulse oximetry, which is essentially a simplified way of saying ‘non-invasive oxygen saturation monitoring’, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 and other wearables are able to notify the user when their blood oxygen percentage falls below a certain point.

Typically, anything above 95% is considered to be ‘normal’. However, anything below 92% is a potential indicator of an underlying health issue, such as sleep apnea.

Fitbit, for example, uses the SpO2 monitor in its wearables to specifically monitor fluctuations and variations in blood oxygen levels during tracked sleep sessions. However, the Apple Watch checks on SpO2 levels at any time when the user is still – similar to its ECG tracking function – with readings also only taking 15 seconds. Periodic measurements will also be taken in the background during inactivity and sleep.

What else can blood oxygen monitoring help with? Well, as noted by John Hopkins Medicine, pulse oximetry can be used to check whether somebody needs help with their breathing (through a ventilator), estimate whether a person is able to take part in strenuous physical activity and, as we mentioned, indicate whether breathing stops temporarily during sleep (sleep apnea).

How does blood oxygen monitoring work?

What was once a test reserved only for dedicated monitors has now found its way onto smartwatches and fitness trackers – so how does it actually work?

Well, traditionally, SpO2 monitors would consist of a clip-on device that the user would place on a finger or toe. It would then use red and infrared light sensors to log the volume of oxygen passing through the finger, for example, and continuously monitor this for changes.

In the modern sense, of course, this can now be achieved directly from the wrist without any adjustments. Apple, specifically, indicates that it uses four clusters of green, red, infrared LEDs and four photodiodes on the back crystal of the Series 6 in order to measure the light reflected back from the blood.

Can blood oxygen monitoring help with COVID?

With pulse oximetry able to be used to check when somebody needs help with their breathing – and, more specifically, silent hypoxia – this naturally begs the question: can the Apple Watch be used to help those with COVID?

It has been speculated, such as in this piece by The New York Times from April 2020, that pulse oximetry is able to provide an “early warning system for the kinds of breathing problems associated with Covid pneumonia”.

With both blood oxygen fluctuations and heart rate readings able to be taken on-demand with a device like the Apple Watch, this does, at the very least, suggest vital signs can be checked directly from your smartwatch.

NHS England, interestingly, has also made at-home pulse oximetry part of its support for people at home who have been diagnosed with coronavirus and are at risk of becoming increasingly unwell (albeit from a more accurate, medical-grade finger sensor).

With both of these examples in mind, then, we’d say that the Apple Watch probably has potential as a reference point both in the pre and post-diagnosis of COVID, but it isn’t a replacement for certified tests or, indeed, medical advice.

The new pulse oximeter in the Apple Watch Series 6 can detect if you’re getting enough oxygen to the right places.

Apple has your health in mind when it comes to the Apple Watch, which is why the Series 6 can now measure your blood oxygen level with its built-in pulse oximeter.

This technology can tell if you’re getting enough oxygen to your brain and other vital organs. More specifically, the sensor measures the percentage of oxygen your red blood cells carry from your lungs to the rest of the body.

Why is that important? A low percentage of oxygen in the blood can be a sign of a pulmonary or cardiac issue, or other related problem. This type of measurement is especially important with the COVID-19 pandemic, since people with severe complications can have low blood oxygen levels. The Series 6 oximeter can also take readings during the night in order to track other issues, such as sleep apnea.

How It Works

The oximeter uses your watch’s built-in blood oxygen app, which you can use to manually trigger an on-demand blood oxygen check. However, your watch can also conduct periodic background readings over the course of the day.

The blood oxygen sensor is composed of four LED clusters and four photodiodes integrated into the back of your watch case. The green, red, and infrared LEDs shine light onto the blood vessels in your wrist, while the photodiodes assess the amount of light reflected back. The technology then detects the color of your blood as a sign of how much oxygen is present.

In general, a “normal” or safe blood oxygen level should be somewhere between 95% and 100%. Although your mileage may vary slightly, consistent readings less than 90% are considered low and a potential sign of some underlying condition.

A Medical Warning

Though Apple has made definite strides positioning its smartwatch as a health device, keep in mind that Apple is not a doctor and the watch is still a consumer device. Even Apple says “the Blood Oxygen app measurements are not intended for medical use, including self-diagnosis or consultation with a doctor, and are only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.”

That means the readings you get from a sensor like the watch’s pulse oximeter shouldn’t be taken as a 100% accurate and reliable medical diagnosis. You may get inconsistent readings, or you may get a low reading if you’re in a low oxygen environment, such as a high altitude.

Instead, you should use such measurements more as a warning sign, especially if your readings are consistently low. Rather than trying to self diagnose based on the readings, you’ll want to check with your doctor for further testing and examination.

Turn on Blood Oxygen Measurements

To set up the Blood Oxygen sensor, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap the setting for Blood Oxygen. Turn on the switch for Blood Oxygen Measurements if it’s not already on. Next, you can control when the sensor takes background readings.

Since the blood oxygen measurements use a bright red light that shines against your wrist, you may want to turn this feature off in certain situations to avoid distractions. Under the section, you can turn off the switch for and/or to ensure the light doesn’t bother you or others when sleeping or in a dark room.

You can also control the settings directly from the Apple Watch. On your Watch, go to . Here, you can turn the sensor on or off and enable or disable In Sleep Mode and In Theater Mode.

Take a Reading

To take an on-demand reading, open the Blood Oxygen app on your watch. The icon is a white circle with red and blue curved lines around the center. The first time you launch the app, it starts by displaying some tips to help ensure a better reading.

You’ll want to make sure your watch is not too low on your wrist and that the band is snug but comfortable. Keep your hand and wrist as still as possible during the reading. Your best bet is to keep your wrist flat on a table.

When you’re ready, tap the Start button to begin the scan. The sensor will start with a 15-second countdown. If the measurement is successful, the screen will indicate the percentage of your blood oxygen level. Tap Done.

If your arm is not still enough, the app will tell you to rest your wrist on a table or in your lap. If the sensor is unable to take the measurement, a message will indicate an unsuccessful measurement. In this case, you’ll want to make sure the watch is firm around your wrist without being too tight or too loose and try to keep your wrist more still. Tap Dismiss and try again.

View History and Data

After you’ve measured your blood oxygen level a few times, you may want to check a history of your readings. To do this, open the Health app on your iPhone and tap the icon at the bottom for Browse. Then tap the setting for Respiratory or for Vitals. Tap the section for Blood Oxygen.

The chart can display readings for the current day, week, month, or year. Tap the different headings at the top to see the measurements for each duration. Then tap the link to Show More Blood Oxygen Data.

At the Oxygen Saturation screen, tap each of the four options at the bottom to see the latest reading, the range of readings, the monthly average, and the high elevation environment. When finished, tap Done.

If you scroll all the way down the Blood Oxygen screen, you can learn more about Blood Oxygen and tap a link for the Mayo Clinic website to search for more information. Tap the Learn About Blood Oxygen Levels section to get more details.

Tap Add to Favorites to more easily access your blood oxygen readings from the Health app’s Summary screen. Tap Show All Data to see all your recent readings in a list. You can then tap a specific reading to see detailed information on it.

The headline feature on the Apple Watch Series 6 was the introduction of its Blood Oxygen app, letting you measure blood oxygen levels or SpO2 from the smartwatch.

While not a new feature for wearables tech, it is a first for Apple. And while it’s not a feature designed for health monitoring and medical use (yet), it’s another piece of heath data your Apple Watch can track from the wrist.

If you like the idea of measuring blood oxygen from your Apple Watch and don’t know how to do it, we breakdown the easiest way to take that first reading and what you can do with the data right now.

Which Apple Watch can take an SpO2 reading?

Right now, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the only Apple Watch that’s capable of delivering that blood oxygen data. That’s because it’s equipped with the appropriate sensor technology to make it possible.

That sensor tech isn’t available on the Apple Watch Series SE or older models like the Series 3 and Series 5.

We fully anticipate that the Apple Watch Series 7 will be packing it when that lands though to widen that support.

How to get the Blood Oxygen app set up

The very first thing you need to do is make sure your iPhone and Apple Watch is running the latest software. If you’ve just bought the Watch that should already be the case. If you’re not sure, we’ve covered how to update your Apple Watch as well.

Once you’re all up to date, you’ll need to spend some time in the Apple Health app on your phone before you start taking a reading.

Step 1: Open the Health app and look for the prompt to set up the Blood Oxygen app.

Step 2: Follow the prompts to complete the setup that will ensure the Blood Oxygen app is installed and present on your Watch.

Additional information: If for any reason you don’t see the option to set things up in the Health app, you can search out the app in the Apple App Store.

How to take an SpO2 reading on Apple Watch

Step 1: Open up the app screen on your Apple Watch. Look for the Blood Oxygen app, which is a white icon with a blue and red line inside of it.

Step 2: Press Start and a reading will take 15 seconds to complete. At the end, you’ll see your results.

Step 3: Tap Done and you can view those blood oxygen measurements in the Apple Health app on your phone.

Tips to get a good SpO2 reading on Apple Watch

In general, our experience with taking blood oxygen measurements on the Apple Watch have been very reliably. More so compared to similar sensors packed on rival watches. There are some things to consider to make sure that you make sure you’re able to get a reading. They are:

  • Ensure the Apple Watch is sat snug and comfortably on your wrist to ensure the sensors are in good position to take a reading.
  • Place your arm with the Apple Watch on a flat surface like a table with your palm down and flat.
  • Try to stay still. Movement will impact on the reliability of getting a reading.
  • Don’t try to take readings after exercise or if your heart rate is high (150bpm or higher).

How to view SpO2 data in Apple Health

There currently isn’t a way to look at your previous blood oxygen measurements on the Watch, so you’ll need to venture back into the Apple Health app on your phone to see all of your readings in one place. Here’s how to find your data:

Step 1: Open the Health app and go to the Browse section of the app.

Step 2: Look for Vitals and tap to see your most recent readings. Whether that’s heart rate or blood oxygen.

Step 3: Tap on the most recent reading to view Blood Oxygen data across the day, week, month and year.

Step 4: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap Show All Data to see every single reading you’ve taken.

Can you share SpO2 data with other apps?

Right now, there aren’t any apps on the Apple App Store that can read and access data generated by the Blood Oxygen app.

When there are apps that are permitted to use the data, you can follow the steps above describing how to view your data and then look for Data Sources & Access and you’ll find compatible apps and services.

Additionally, it’ll also note the research studies you’ve allowed to read that data as well, if you choose to participate.