The Apple Watch Series 6 is enriched with a blood oxygen monitoring detector. Concretely this means that the connected watch from Apple is now able to measure the rate of oxygen saturation (percentage of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood). A function that was lacking on the old version.
Oxygen saturation rate
The level of oxygen in red blood cells helps assess a person’s respiratory functions. A low level of oxygen in the blood, also called hypoxemia, causes more or less serious discomfort. If you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, seek medical advice immediately.
Only a doctor will be able to determine the seriousness of your case and offer you appropriate treatment. The Apple Watch does not replace the doctor but by monitoring the level of oxygen in the blood, the connected watch can warn the user of potential health problems (asthma, pneumonia, covid-19 or congenital heart disease).
How to use the Apple Watch 6 SpO2 sensor
We will now see how to use the Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch Series 6 and measure your blood oxygenation rate. It should be noted that this feature is only available on the 6 Series (and higher) and in certain countries.
- Open the Health App on your iPhone
- Click on the blue activate button on first launch or on the browse tab
- Then select breathing then blood oxygen
- Configure the App by following the on-screen instructions
- Make sure your smartwatch fits properly on your wrist (the back of Apple Watch should touch your skin)
- Launch the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch
- Place your watch screen flat pointing skyward (palm facing down)
- If you can put your arm on a table
- Press the start button then do not move during the measurement
The operation takes about 15 seconds. A countdown indicates the time remaining before the end of the measurement. Apple indicates that the measurements generated by the oxygen sensor by the Watch are given as an indication and cannot replace a measurement made with a pulse oximeter (small clamp that is placed on the finger).
As a reminder, oxygen saturation is expressed as a percentage. A measurement between 94% and 99% is said to be normal. Below these figures the oxygenation of the blood is insufficient. Contact your doctor as soon as possible. In the most serious cases, medical emergencies will have to be called in. During respiratory distress, the supply of oxygen is compulsory.