Over the last decade, wearable health technology has seen a massive growth as consumers turn more health-conscious. Earlier this year Fitbit introduced blood oxygen saturation monitoring for many of its existing smartwatches, and now the company is giving customers a new watch face for its Ionic, Versa and Sense smartwatches that comes with a SpO2 monitor.
The new addition allows users to track blood oxygen saturation, as well as key health and fitness stats, quickly and easily. However, the company clarifies that the SpO2 levels shown by the watch should not be used for medical purposes.
“The data provided by Fitbit SpO2 is intended to be a close estimation of your blood oxygen saturation levels, but may not be precisely accurate,” said the company.
With the SpO2 Signature watch face installed from the Fitbit Gallery, the watch will track average blood oxygen saturation levels while you’re sleeping, and start displaying them within an hour from the time you get moving. Fitbit premium members will have another advantage of being able to track their trends in the upcoming Health Metrics dashboard.
The company explained that the process is similar to how pulse oximeters work. “Deoxygenated blood, which is returned to your lungs via your veins, is a slightly darker red color than the fully oxygenated blood in your arteries and arterioles (small blood vessels that bring oxygenated blood to your tissues). By using Fitbit sensors to measure the relative reflection of red and infrared light from your blood via your wrist, and seeing how it varies as your heart beats, we can estimate your SpO2 value,” an official statement noted.
Fitbit says availability of the products will be announced shortly. The company promises that more watch face options with SpO2 tracking will be coming later in the year.