Apple Watch: How to Measure Blood Oxygen Levels and Heart Rate

This allows you to measure your heart rate and oxygen levels in your blood. (photo: As)

As soon as you follow the news of Apple Watch, surely you will know one of its main features: the heart rate sensor or oxygen saturation. The Apple Watch will be able to tell you how often your heart is beating or it could even help you detect covid, up to a week before the first symptoms of the disease appear. Not long ago, this was a feature reserved for very expensive devices, but it is gradually spreading and currently there is no smartwatch or quantizer device that does not have it built in.

Next, we will teach you how to set up your Apple Watch so that you can always know your blood oxygen levels and also your heart rate.


How to measure blood oxygen levels with an Apple Watch

To use this feature, you must meet a number of requirements, such as having the application available in the country you live in, which can be found in the initial setup processes, and you must also have a compatible Apple Watch, as not all They include the necessary sensors. More specifically, the compatible models are:

– Apple Watch Series 6 40 or 44 mm

– Apple Watch Series 7 41 or 45 mm.

Furthermore, in all cases, you must have the latest version of watchOS, as well as an iPhone 6s or higher with the latest version of iOS available, as well as the requirement of being over 18 years of age to use the application, since the algorithm has not been tested on minors.

Initial setup

When you set up your Apple Watch with sensors to be able to take the oxygen saturation measurement, a window will appear explaining how it works. Here you can click “Activate” to download the application. Then, in case you didn’t enable it in the initial setup, you can follow these steps:

1. Open the application “Health” on your iPhone with the Apple Watch connected.

2. Scroll to the tab “Examine”.

3. Follow the path Breathing – Blood Oxygen – Set blood oxygen.

At this point, you will be prompted to perform the activation settings so that the data can be taken. In case the app doesn’t appear, you can simply go to the App Store and download the “Blood Oxygen” app to force yourself to have it.

Initial setting of oxygen saturation in the blood.  (photo: Mobile News)
Initial setting of oxygen saturation in the blood. (photo: Mobile News)

Take the measurement with an Apple Watch

Once you have made sure that you have made the configuration that meets all the requirements in each case, it is time to take the action.

To do this you must make sure that the Apple Watch has a good fit on the wrist but by no means tight. Your hand must be open and relaxed for the result to be as successful and faithful as possible. After you have followed these instructions, you just need to follow the steps below to take the measurement:

1. Open the app ‘Blood Oxygen’ on your Apple Watch.

2. Don’t move and keep your wrist in a horizontal position, best if it is resting on a surface such as a table.

3. Click “Start” and wait 15 seconds while the measurement is taking place.

4. Once this measurement expires, you will have access to the result.

With your Apple Watch you could detect a possible contagion of COVID-19

Some recent studies in the United States have confirmed that the Apple Watch can detect COVID-19, up to a week before the first symptoms of the disease appear. This finding could be very relevant, since millions of people currently use an Apple Watch from the Cupertino, California company. Even the smart watch of Manzana You could also anticipate a diagnosis before a PCR test.

In the first case, this study shows that using the Apple Watch a possible infection could be detected. The research consisted of using both the smartwatch with an iPhone and with an application, developed specifically for this purpose.

More than 300 patients have used this device to monitor and record their condition, as well as to report possible symptoms they may be experiencing. In this way, the data obtained in terms of changes in heart rhythm allowed the researchers to predict COVID-19 infections 7 days before diagnosis using a conventional test.

How to measure heart rate with an Apple Watch

Check your heart rate at any time with the heart rate app. Open the app and wait for the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate. You can also check your rest rhythm, when walking, in the breathing, training and recovery phases throughout the day.

To easily open the application, add the heart rate complication to the watch face or add the heart rate app to the Dock.

You can also turn on heart rate notifications and in this way, know if it stays above or below a certain number of beats per minute (BPM). You can also check it from time to time to see if your heart rate is irregular.

Apple Watch measuring heart rate.  (photo: EsferaiPhone)
Apple Watch measuring heart rate. (photo: EsferaiPhone)

When the Apple Watch measures your heart rate

With the app Workout, Apple Watch continuously measures your heart rate during exercise and three minutes after exercise to determine your recovery rate after training. With this and other data collected, Apple Watch calculates the number of calories you have burned and also measures your heart rate during the day when you are not moving and periodically when you walk.

Because Apple Watch takes these measurements in the background depending on your activity, the time between these measurements may vary. It also calculates a daily resting rate and a walking average by correlating your heart rate readings with your data in the background.

Photoplethysmography lets your Apple Watch measure your heart rate

The technique that allows the Apple Watch to know how often our heart beats is called “Photoplethysmography”. It is nothing more than sending a green light to our skin and knowing what it is absorbing. For that these four sensors are used at the bottom of the watch.

When the heart beats, more blood passes through our body, so it absorbs more green light. By blinking a hundred times a second, you can know your heart rate, which is why Apple also uses infrared light to quantify it.

Apple Watch quantifies your heart rate every ten minutes. Thanks to this information, you know more precisely the calories you consume during the day. Also, during exercise, you continually quantify them and this is how it appears on your watch screen. Without exercising, you can also check your heart rate at any time using the “glance” (quick view) option on the watch.

The case of a nurse who saved her life thanks to an Apple Watch

Patti Sohn, a nurse from the United States, says that technology saved her life thanks to a notification from her Apple Watch. The nurse herself says that her smartwatch warned her through a notification that her heart rate had dropped below 40 beats per minute. The number of beats at rest varies according to age, But the normal for women over 50 is between 75 and 95 beats per minute.

The nurse was scared and decided to go to her doctor for fear that something was wrong. A few days after her first visit, the Apple Watch alerted her again with a similar notification. Back to the hospital, The doctors decided to operate her with an open heart to incorporate a pacemaker and thus regulate her heart rate.

Patti Sohn had open heart surgery thanks to a notification from her Apple Watch.  (capture: tododisca)
Patti Sohn had open heart surgery thanks to a notification from her Apple Watch. (capture: tododisca)


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