The new Apple Watch tracks blood oxygen, however how helpful is that this characteristic?

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The new Apple Watch may be summed up in two phrases: blood oxygen. The potential to measure your blood’s oxygen saturation — an general indicator of wellness — is probably the most important new characteristic within the Apple Watch Series 6, which was unveiled this week and turns into accessible on Friday. (The watch is in any other case not that totally different from last yr’s Apple watch.) The characteristic is especially well timed with the coronavirus, as a result of some sufferers in essential situation with Covid-19 have had low blood oxygen ranges.

But how helpful is that this characteristic for all of us, actually?

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I had a day to check the brand new $399 Apple Watch to measure my blood oxygen stage. The course of was easy: You open the blood oxygen app on the system, hold your wrist regular and hit the Start button. After 15 seconds, throughout which a sensor on the back of the watch measures your blood oxygen stage by shining lights onto your wrist, it reveals your studying. In three exams, my blood oxygen stage stood between 99 p.c and 100 p.c.

I wasn’t fairly certain what to do with this info. So I requested two medical specialists concerning the new characteristic. Both had been cautiously optimistic about its potential advantages, particularly for analysis. The potential to consistently monitor blood oxygen ranges with a point of accuracy, they mentioned, may assist people uncover signs for medical conditions like sleep apnea.

“Continuous recording of data can be really interesting to see trends,” mentioned Cathy A. Goldstein, a sleep doctor on the University of Michigan’s Medicine Sleep Clinic. But for many people who find themselves comparatively wholesome, measuring blood oxygen on an on a regular basis foundation could possibly be far more info than we’d like. Ethan Weiss, a heart specialist on the University of California, San Francisco, mentioned he was involved that blood oxygen readings may breed anxiousness in people and cause them to take pointless exams.

“It can be positive and negative,” he cautioned. “It may hold people out of drs’ workplaces and at residence and provides them reassurance, however it may additionally create lots of anxiousness.

©2020 The New York Times New Service

[Attribution Business Standard.]

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