WebMD News Brief

Apple Adds Blood Oxygen Monitoring to Watch

photo of mature woman wearing fitness watch

September 16, 2020 -- The Apple Watch Series 6 will include a new tool for measuring blood oxygen levels, according to Engadget.

The underside of the watch will have a new sensor that can measure oxygen in red blood cells with red and infrared light. The watch should be able to do background readings while people sleep and measure red blood cells in about 15 seconds, the news outlet reported.

Blood oxygen levels have been a critical aspect of monitoring COVID-19. The levels also indicate heart and lung health, which can be useful for monitoring asthma symptoms or heart problems, according to Ars Technica.

The watch will also feature improved measurements for VO2 max, which is an indicator of cardiovascular health. The watch operating system will include a handwashing reminders feature as well.

Apple is partnering with health networks across the country to use the new features to study the effects of COVID-19 and other health problems on the respiratory system. The University of California at Irvine and the University of Toronto are among some of the partners, Ars Technica reported.

The Apple Watch Series 6 will start shipping Friday.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 16, 2020


Engadget, “Apple adds blood oxygen monitoring to the Watch Series 6.”

Ars Technica, “Apple Watch Series 6 adds blood oxygen monitoring and more.”

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