In this post, we talk about how smartwatches measure blood oxygen. Women are more likely than men to use either a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, with 25% of women responding favorably compared to only 18% of men according to a study by 3dinsider. Newer smartwatches are offering a local touchscreen interface for everyday usage, whereas a linked smartphone app provides for management and remote sensing. For instance biomonitoring.
In analytical chemistry, biomonitoring is the measurement of the body burden of toxic chemical compounds, elements, or their metabolites, in biological substances. Many times, these measurements are being done in blood and urine. In other words, biomonitoring tells you to what extent your body is healthy or unhealthy. But what about smartwatches? How do they biomonitor? In this case, measure blood oxygen? Stick around to find out.
How smartwatches are measuring blood oxygen
Blood oxygen saturation refers to the proportion of hemoglobin that is combined with oxygen. Thus, it is the key sign to measuring the health of the human body. Understanding the oxygen content in the human body, blood oxygen saturation is a good parameter. Generally, 95% to 100% blood oxygen saturation is considered normal for the human body. When it goes down below 90%, it is called hypoxemia. It can distress the central nervous system, kidney, liver with other vital organs. And that is not good. Smartphones can actually help you keep track of these levels such that you can discover such cases early enough so that you can take the necessary steps forward or just maintain the healthy levels.
Acknowledgment to the conventional pulse oximeter which is also called the SpO2 sensor. It uses the transmissive beat oximetry system where bordering organs of the human body like fingertips, toes and the ear lobe is used.
How it works
The most commonly used method is to transient light over the finger and measures light-infrared and red light, that is immersed and can pass over the finger to define blood oxygen level.
Unlike the conventional pulse oximeter, the smartwatch determines health by calculating arterial blood oxygen saturation of the human body. Smartwatches use the reflectance pulse oximetry method to measure blood oxygen.
Here, just put measure light echoed other than light passing over the human body. As different from the transmissive technique, using smartwatches can quantify blood oxygen levels from other parts of the body including the chest and wrist.
In this process, the light passes through the external part of the body. Typically, infrared and red light is echoed off the dermatological tissue or bone to the sensor on the smartwatch. Here is where the variance among the light produced and echoed is used to measure blood oxygen level.
It is a very convenient way to measure the human body’s blood oxygen level. Particularly at the low temperature when blood movement to the tips of the body where transmission pulse oximetry takes place is compact.
This is the reason the wearables like smartwatches become the ideal tool to measure blood oxygen. The good news is numerous smartwatches can measure blood oxygen saturation in the markets from different brands you can go for.