Manufacturers of activity trackers strive to create versatile devices stuffed with sensors to the maximum. Although it is not always about the quality and accuracy of measurements, such ideas are being successfully implemented. More and more manufacturers offer advanced measurement systems.
As for monitoring the filling of oxygen in the blood, such a medical accessory is relevant for different users: athletes and active people. With smart gadgets, training and physical activity takes place strictly according to the planned rhythm.
SpO2 sensors and devices — what are they and how do they work?
Thanks to smart technology, people can call or reject a call without taking their phone out of their pocket. The same goes for situations where you receive notifications from social networks while running. In this case, fitness trackers help out, the capabilities of which are not limited to monitoring the condition.
Electronic gadgets have many useful and additional functions. Manufacturers would like to make everyday life easier for users, and this is not about luxury, but about trying to match the spirit of modernity. The time has come when a fitness bracelet with an oxygen measurement function takes the place of watches on an equal footing in the ranking of wrist accessories.
For most users, the requests are still the same. People who are physically active want to control their heart rate, breathing, plan routes (thanks to GPS navigation) and even measure blood pressure. For many of them, a pulse oximeter is in the must-have category.
So, about saturation. SpO2 is a measure of oxygen in the blood. Low saturation is a sign of respiratory diseases or defects in internal organs. These include:
- viral and bacterial respiratory infections,
- heart and lung defects.
A drop in numbers is considered a sign of COVID-19 disease. Therefore, the pulse oximeter has become an innovative device that has broken all records of popularity in 2020. By themselves, systems that show the level of SpO2 are straightforward.
To measure, the device emits light pulses, so the accessory flashes, with which you can set the intensity of absorption of oxyhemoglobin. It is an unstable combination of oxygen and hemoglobin in the blood. Depending on the degree of light absorption by oxyhemoglobin, the device reads the indicator.
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How is SpO2 compliance measured in smart watches, medical devices and fitness trackers?
The pulse oximeter in smart watches is not new. Integration of such a sensor into a wrist device and its active promotion is one of the trends of 2020. However, not all brands take measurements with high quality, which has caused a lot of complaints from users. If the SpO2 measurement is inaccurate, it is not practical to buy an additional medical type device.
The presence of a smart watch or a sports bracelet is enough to measure saturation. Wrist accessories cannot completely replace professional medical equipment. The accuracy of the sensor, which shows the content of O2 in fitness bracelets, leaves much to be desired. Although not everyone is so pessimistic. If cycles of measurements taken at intervals of several minutes confirm low or underestimated saturation, it is worth taking seriously such a signal from the body. This is a good reason to consult a doctor. After all, not even the most accurate sensor will help people understand that not everything is in order with health.
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Who needs to control the saturation indicator?
Modern gadgets and accessories are able to control sleep and physical activity, build diagrams, and generate tips. All this thanks to artificial intelligence and other chips. Every year more and more new technologies based on AI appear on the market. The trends of 2020 have become especially specific. Pulse oximeters have skyrocketed in popularity this year. There are practically no people who would not be interested in whether oxygen enters their blood in the right quantities.
A good pulse oximeter or a gadget that additionally measures blood pressure is suitable for sports fans and people who have problems with the heart and blood circulation. For most athletes, the SpO2 sensor is not a toy. When blood pressure is critical, and the pulse rate exceeds normal limits, such a sensor always signals. In a low saturation situation, early detection of the problem will help prevent more serious consequences.
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SpO2 level: what is the norm?
The measurement of oxygen in the blood consists of two components: constant and variable. Some devices simultaneously show the dynamics of contraction of the heart muscle, but this is not a standard. Such accessories are useful for those who suffer from:
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
According to the instructions, the correct saturation for a healthy person is in the range of 95 to 99. If this is not the case, it is worth going to the doctor.
Gadget models with SpO2 measurement — top 3 best devices of 2020
Today is the 21st century. There are more and more models on the market equipped with a pulse oximeter. A decade ago, a similar function was provided only for top-end gadgets. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, half of manufacturers are embedding such a sensor wherever possible: in smart watches, medical devices, fitness bracelets and other accessories.
In 2020, the following models were considered sales leaders:
Checking activity results, receiving notifications from loved ones and monitoring sleep using a smart watch is a common thing. Regardless of preferences and how often people run, ride a bike or work out, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and other get together will be indispensable assistants. Smart watches are easy to use, they have a touch screen. Even for older people, setting up sound notifications and vibrations will not be difficult.
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Alternative ways to measure SpO2
There are many signs that smartwatches will become data monitoring devices in the future, which doctors are taking into account. Manufacturers are already ready to help in diagnosing patients. But using these accessories is not the only way to measure saturation.
No even the most modern smart watches and other commercial accessories with pressure or pulse measurement can replace regular checks by specialists. Medical tests for the diagnosis of diseases still retain their impeccable leadership. Electronic equipment should be treated as a sensory system that is used for day-to-day activity monitoring. This applies to determining the heart rate, sleep status and other things. An additional health check with a doctor will never be superfluous.
So, about the main thing. Miniature sensors help monitor health, monitor sleep and well-being, doing it regularly at any time of the day or night. A smart watch is the perfect companion, whether people exercise regularly or not. Such devices are programmed to measure the pressure and intensity of contraction of the heart muscle.
Some models are indispensable during trips to the mountains. They constantly monitor acclimatization and monitor physical activity. Thanks to this, people can understand where the threshold of endurance is when it is paramount.
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