Fitbit steals Apple Watch's thunder with blood oxygen monitoring

Ruben Fields
January 17, 2020

Some Apple Watch users and fans might feel disappointed that this feature isn't available in Cupertino's health-oriented wearable yet.

Besides the Iconic, the Versa, Versa Lite, Versa 2 and Charge 3 all support the new tracking capability.

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Fitbit's line of Versa smartwatches, its Ionic sports watch, and the Charge 3 wristband have always included hardware that's capable of estimating the variability of oxygen levels in the blood.

"Blood oxygen saturation normally fluctuates, but big variations can be linked to breathing issues", a note in the Fitbit mobile app explains.

Fitbit designed this feature to function with the operation of the infrared sensor located on the back of the device.

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If you're not familiar with blood oxygen monitoring, it's a way for you to check whether your blood oxygen level has decreased and when this happens.

The only thing that prevents Apple from launching a similar function to measure blood oxygen levels is FDA approval, as Apple Watch now has the necessary hardware to do so. Users have reported seeing the feature in recent days.

Fitbit is rolling out the ability of some of its smart watches and fitness trackers to track blood oxygen levels (SP02) with a software update.

For the record, in 2019, Google - the American multinational technology firm bought Fitbit for a total value of Dollars 2.1 billion. So why doesn't Apple's flagship wearable offer similar functionality? Fitbit, comparatively, accounted for just 4.1% of the market during the same time period. However, a new SpO2 to be confused with the already existing devices for a long time VO2 max.

The Apple Watch is the industry's dominant fitness tracker and smartwatch - and it isn't even close. That could change this year.

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