Fowler decided to test the main feature of the Apple Watch 6 presented in mid-September — the ability to measure the level of oxygen in the blood (SpO2). To make the experiment more accurate, the author wore an Apple gadget on his wrist and put a medical pulse oximeter on his finger. As a result of the tests, the readings obtained from the watch and the professional gadget varied significantly.
According to the journalist, the difference between the readings from the Apple Watch and the oximeter was at least two to three percentage points. In this case, the first copy of the watch tested by Fowler, apparently, turned out to be defective. “When I first turned on the Apple Watch 6, it showed that my blood oxygen level was about 88 percent,” the author said. This is a critically low indicator, which can mean severe lung damage. A few minutes later, the journalist took another measurement, and this time the watch reported that the SpO2 was 95 percent.
Fowler concluded that the Apple Watch 6 should not be perceived as an accurate medical gadget, but the SpO2 function is more of a marketing one. The journalist noted that the new Apple watch is available from $399, while the medical oximeter, certified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cost him $60.
The ability to measure blood oxygen levels has become the main feature of Apple’s announced September 15th watch. According to the company representatives, the corresponding sensor records the watch owner’s indicators constantly, including during sleep.