Sometimes the new Apple Watch Series 6 reports my lungs and heart are the picture of health, pumping blood that’s 100 percent saturated with oxygen.
At other times, it reports my blood oxygen is so low I might be suffering from emphysema. (I am not.)
The watch can’t decide. This much is clear: Don’t buy one of these $400 devices in the hopes of monitoring your lung health.
I’m very skeptical about including a pulse oximeter in a consumer device like this. I don’t know who would need to use this, or when, and the fact that it is not very accurate can make people worry needlessly. As the article points out, this device is not approved by the FDA, and, according to Apple, is “only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.”
There are important differences in the blood oxygen data that Apple and Fitbit report. But in my experience, neither company’s measurement serves much purpose at all. You should know what you’re buying, because it might do more harm than good.
It should not be acceptable for giant tech companies to market devices that take readings of our bodies without disclosing how those devices were tested and what their error ranges might be.