Wearable Pulse Oximeter Vs. Smartwatch: Which One Should You Buy?

We are living in one of the most unprecedented times. The virus has wreaked havoc on every industry, including the healthcare system. You might be familiar with the importance of blood oxygen level, the uncontrolled level of which can cause many serious health implications. As a result, keeping track of your blood oxygen, and heart rate is critical. Wearable pulse oximeters and smartwatches are two typical ways to assess your blood oxygen level. This article will compare these two devices and help you decide which one to buy.

The topic of blood oxygen is unprecedentedly popular

According to the BBC report, a wearable pulse oximeter is a possible life-saving solution under the threat of “silent hypoxia.” Patients can monitor their own oxygen levels at home with the help of a wearable pulse oximeter. This not only avoids excessive contact with the crowd but also effectively monitors their own oxygen levels regularly. Dr. Inada-Kim believes that to solve the problem of silent hypoxia, and everyone should buy a wearable pulse oximeter. The wearable pulse oximeter can help improve survival rate, shorten hospital stay, and reduce the pressure of emergency services for medical staff. [1] The wearable pulse oximeter is undoubtedly an effective and economical solution.

Reflectance oximetry vs. Transmittance oximetry

Blood oxygen monitoring equipment can use transmittance or reflectance mode according to the measurement position. In the transmittance mode, the light source and the photodiode are opposed to each other, and the measurement point is located between them. In the reflectance mode, the light source and the photodiode are on the same side, and the light is reflected to the photodiode through the measuring point. Studies have shown that the reflection mode monitoring of SpO2 in the wrist poses a challenge to clinical use, and the reflected red and infrared pulses can only be used in specific areas. [2] One of the main differences determining the smartwatch and wearable pulse oximeter is the reflected blood oxygen saturation and the transmitted blood oxygen saturation. Smartwatches use reflection oximeters, while oximeters use transmission oximeters.

Wearable oximeter vs. Smartwatch: Which has more accurate data?

If you don’t have an oximeter, should you accept the data on your wristwatch or wait till the oximeter comes? The accuracy of smartwatches and oximeters is influenced by various variables, including scientific research. The primary difference between the two devices is the difference in technology, i.e., Smartwatches use reflectance oximetry, while on the other hand, oximeters use transmittance oximetry to measure SPO2 level. Let’s analyze the accuracy of each device one after another so that it is easy to pick one that is more accurate.

How accurate is the wearable pulse oximeter?

A wearable pulse oximeter employs the technique of transmittance oximetry, and it also calculates the light that passes through the part of the body. Research indicates that SpO2 readings are accurate to 2%.[3] The accuracy of a wearable pulse oximeter is highest when the blood saturation level is above 90%.

How accurate is the smartwatch?

A typical smartwatch uses a plethysmography sensor to measure the blood oxygen level. Each company’s smartwatches have different standards and accuracy. For instance, the accuracy of the Apple Watch 6 is close to the consistency and accuracy of an oximeter.

The accuracy of smartwatches is less than the wearable pulse oximeter because both the light-emitting sensor and receiving sensor are on one side, which neglected the transmitting light, thus affecting the accuracy of the readings. Apart from the primary difference in the technology, there are additional factors that affect the accuracy of the device, such as the quality of sensors, the quality of the device, the method of reading and processing data, and many more. The SpO2 sensor uses red light and infrared light sensors to detect oxygen levels and perceives changes in these levels by observing the color of blood. The green, red, and infrared LEDs built into Apple’s smartwatches shine a light on the blood vessels in the wrist, and photodiodes measure the amount of light reflected. In addition, the accuracy of a smartwatch depends upon its calibration.

For SBP and SpO2, the wearable plus oximeter was much more accurate. The primary reason for the lack of precision in smartwatches is the source of inaccuracy. As a result, the ones you’re wearing are designed only for the consumer level, not for use in clinical settings. The reading of a smartwatch gives you a rough indication of the level of your blood oxygen. But you should validate it with an oximeter.

Wearable oximeter vs. smartwatch: Which can achieve medical level use?

In terms of accuracy, a wearable pulse oximeter is undoubtedly better than a smartwatch. In contrast, only the wearable pulse oximeter can achieve medical level use. Apple itself has emphasized that the sensors used in the Apple watch are not medical grade. The grades are for reference and guidance. The devices are only designed for general and health purposes. To give you a better comparison between the two devices, let me quote you the experiment of the Reporter Geoffrey A. Fowler. He highlighted that the accuracy of the Apple watch series 6 gives varied readings with an FDA-approved finger oximeter. The average difference observed between the readings was 2-3%, and on a few occasions, the difference was up to 7%. Furthermore, he also noted different variations with the results. Thus, questioning the reliability of the smartwatch’s readings.

Wearable oximeter vs. smartwatch: Which is more cost-effective?

The price of the Apple Series 7 starts at $399, which is multi-fold times higher than a typical wearable pulse oximeter. The wearable pulse oximeter is cost-effective when compared to a smartwatch. If you want to save some money, you should go with the wearable pulse oximeter

Viatom O2ring Remote

Viatom O2Ring

Well, now you must have decided to buy the life-saving device, i.e., a wearable pulse oximeter. Viatom’s O2ring is designed to keep an accurate track of your oxygen saturation level and heart rate. When the spO2 drops, an intelligent vibration occurs. For nighttime usage, there is a built-in rechargeable battery. Moreover, you can share your blood saturation readings with your physician via the internet. The device is also compatible with your smartphone.

Viatom’s O2Ring has reached the medical level. This wearable pulse oximeter supports continuous detection and can store data in real time. The compact and portable design (the body is only 15g) allows you to carry it for intelligent detection at any time. In addition, O2Ring uses a medical-grade certified transmission algorithm, and its detection is accurate and sensitive. The transmission algorithm is the mainstream method currently used in clinical medicine, which can help the wearable pulse oximeter achieve higher accuracy and stability. Viatom’s O2Ring also has super battery life, lasting 12-16 hours on a single charge.

In addition to sleep use and daily monitoring, this wearable pulse oximeter is also suitable for patients with diseases and pregnant people. In addition, O2Ring can provide accurate detection results even if the user is in a high altitude or plateau environment. Here are more applicable groups of the wearable pulse oximeter:

1.Apnea syndrome
2.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
3.Myocardial ischemia
4.Adenoidal hypertrophy
5.Ventilator users
6.Snoring crowd
7.Postoperative recovery monitoring
8.Sleep monitoring
9.Elderly people

Viatom is an experienced and trustworthy home medical equipment manufacturer and distributor. Being a reliable oximeter supplier, we have the trust of doctors and patients from all around the world. Hurry up and buy this terrific life-saving device before we go out of stock.