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Fitbit update brings blood oxygen monitoring feature to smartwatches and fitness tracker

Fitbit's new blood oxygen monitoring function can also help users who have asthma, heart disease, and sleep apnea.

  • Updated: January 17, 2020 7:17 AM IST

Fitbit has reportedly started rolling out a new software update for its smartwatch and fitness tracker users. The update brings support for tracking oxygen levels in the blood (SpO2). Also Read - Fitbit Versa 2 Review: A steady fitness companion

According to ZDNet, some Fitbit users have reported that they can now measure and check blood oxygen levels on their devices. This new feature is currently rolling out to the Fitbit devices that have a SpO2 sensor. These devices include the Versa Lite, Versa 2, Fitbit Ionic, and Fitbit Charge 3 fitness tracker. Also Read - Fitbit data claims that Indians are second most sleep deprived and least active

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Fitbit designed this feature to function with the operation of the infrared sensor located on the back of the device. The sensor can work by detecting blood flow through the outer layer of the user’s skin. The existence of this oxygen tracking feature can also help users who have asthma, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Also Read - Google owner Alphabet reportedly looking to buy Fitbit

As per the company’s official statement, “Blood oxygen saturation fluctuates normally, but large variations can be associated with breathing problems. The estimation of blood oxygen variation approximates changes in your blood oxygen saturation.”

With this feature, Fitbit has overtaken Apple to deal with advanced SPO2 features. Although Apple currently still holds the market for smartwatch sales worldwide, Apple has not yet paired the oxygen tracking feature on its Apple Watch series.

The only thing that prevents Apple from launching a similar function to measure blood oxygen levels is FDA approval, as Apple Watch currently has the necessary hardware to do so. The company also has pending patents related to blood sugar measurement and blood pressure monitoring.

Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch

Fitbit’s latest device launched in India is the Versa 2 smartwatch. It features an OLED display and 2.5D curved glass on top. The fitness watch supports a 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, Altimeter, Ambient light sensor, and Vibration motor. There are also built-in microphones and 15+ exercise modes. Connectivity options include WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS and NFC.

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  • Published Date: January 17, 2020 7:17 AM IST
  • Updated Date: January 17, 2020 7:17 AM IST