Will AW eventually have Blood Oxygen reading ability?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by PracticalMac, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
    I would get the AW in a heart beat if it could read Blood Oxy (SpO2)
    Not for me, but my elderly parents whose sometimes are not getting enough oxygen.

    There are few offerings, only one it seems (by Phillips?), not as easy to use and costs twice as much as AW!

    Key about how SpO2 works is seeing the color of the blood though skin, usually though the finger which is not that thick and illuminated well. Some question if the location of sensors so close to light will work correctly.
    Not like FAKE system with a light right next to it, as some apps falsely claim with camera and is very dangerous (LED is wrong color and the camera is not specialized for function).

    This version or next??
     
  2. fanta88 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Technically, it has the sensors to do these readings now. The obstacle is the FDA. Approval is required since it becomes a "medical device."

    I wouldn't be surprised if the ability is switched on once approval is granted, but that's a long process.
     
  3. Karnicopia macrumors 6502

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #3
    I fixit saw the sensor in the current version. They said Apple was just waiting for Approval to turn it on. Not sure why but something like that sensor would put the apple watch in the medical device category which needs more approvals.
     
  4. PN4 macrumors member

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    CHS
    #4
    I wonder why the heart beat monitor would be "allowed" but not blood oxygen levels. Unless there is an approval process for each type of reading and heartbeat is more lax. I don't imagine that the apps that use the iPhone's light to give heart rate have any sort of FDA approval.
     
  5. Armen, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

    Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #5
    Who knows. You can measure your heart rate without a device.

    Can't measure O2 levels without a device so that would put liability in Apple's hands.
     
  6. jds4300 macrumors member

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    #6
    Yes. The Apple Watch will also be able to levitate, read your mind, and predict the future.
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #7
    For less than $30 bucks you can get the same one the doctors use at Amazon.
     
  8. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #8
    Oh, yes, I love to ware a brick on my finger 18 hours a day.
     
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #9
    It is not so bad. Just hard for you to pick your nose!:p

    All kidding aside very few of us would benefit from this O2 sensor. A health person would see these O2 values vary very little.
     
  10. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    #10
    My guess is NONE for additional sensor.

    AW is not designed to replaced your doctor. It is design to help identify any abnormaliy in health with capability to continuous store health data for data mining. Since it could continuously monitor user heart rate, blood oxygen(in the future), user exercise pattern, with user permission, it could provide all these data to user's doctor. It will be soon someone will create a health data mining SW to allow user's doctor to analysis these continuously data, maybe even set a custom boundary criteria for heart rate and blood oxygen, upload back to AW. So when user go above preset criteria, during continuously monitoring, it will warn user, maybe even setup automatically notify doctor or emergency personal if needed. But if user go below preset criteria, it will stop notification and warning.

    The power of smart health wearable device like watch is capability to monitor continuously, since user could wear it almost all the time, and when it is combined with data mining capability with user's doctor, potential is tremendously.
     
  11. jschu22 macrumors regular

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    #11
    Are we sure that the watch would require FDA approval for the additional sensor? The Galaxy S6 has this functionality. I suppose Samsung could have gone through any necessary regulatory steps I guess.
     
  12. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #12
    I have my doubts as long as you were given some kind of warning. I think Apple disconnected the AW O2 sensor due to a problem or to conserve power. I know it is the future but I will resist ever letting my phone download my health information to any doctor's database as it is tied in with obama's healthcare system which I am sure bleeds data like a stuck pig!
     
  13. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

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    #13
    Just....... wow. Obama and Obama-care have nothing to do with it. The Hitech Act, which tried to popularize Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) as passed as part of the 2009 stimulus package. That was a bipartisan measure and predates the Affordable Care Act. Despite all the money that act provided for such systems, only 48% of doctors' offices have one today.

    And I've got news for you. Your doctor isn't interested in getting all that data from your phone anyway. In fact, they would hate that.

    Watch the following video:
    There Dr. Aaron Carroll states:
    And this guy should know. He's a practicing pediatrician, has researched multiple studies on medical informatics, participated in one himself, and even wrote an article for the New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/u...wont-bring-a-new-age.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

    Doctors are already overwhelmed by the workload they're already under. Why would they want to add to that by sifting through tons of data (perhaps terabytes) for patients just because?
     
  14. Yixian macrumors 65816

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    #14
    It's less about providing the info to your doctor and more about allowing patients with chronic diseases to manage themselves to some extent. They already do this now, a wearable should just consolidate the devices they have to do so and empower the data with some good software.

    O2 sats are in all honesty, not very useful for the vast majority of people. They don't particularly relate to anything useful about exercise or health in a healthy person, and an unhealthy person is likely going to have significant breathing difficulties already before it significantly alters your sats. For example an asthmatic is going to be in a full blown asthma attack before their sats fall.

    COPD and CF patients are the main two groups I can think of who may want to monitor chronic changes in O2 sats.


    Blood pressure is a completely different matter and a useful stat to track in many many people, and there are studies that show it can be estimated using the same sensors used for pulse oximetry.

    Blood glucose tracking is the holy grail that could "revolutionise" diet, fitness and health, but there has been very little success in non-invasive glucose monitoring.
     
  15. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #15
    I get 12 minutes with my doctor twice a year and I would not download any of my health info if she wanted it. After obamacare she has to see 35-45 patients a day. She is looking for a way to get out of the business as she hates it, too!
     
  16. Easttime macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Yes. I wonder about the anxiety and unnecessary visits/workups it could generate from false positives in people who don't have significant problems. But then there is an argument for information transparency eventually improving knowledge and common sense.
     
  17. Yixian macrumors 65816

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    #17
    As a doctor I would still go with the "improving knowledge and common sense" idea but crucially with the help of intelligent software design.

    If the developers are lazy, as lazy as they have been with the heart rate monitor frankly, then the data will be inaccurate and poorly contextualised and will do more harm than good - they need doctors working closely with developers to create software that is 1) medically rigorous and 2) intelligently communicates the information to the wearer.

    I think Apple should get into health but if it does it cannot do it halfheartedly. It can't be a "hobby", it's all or nothing with healthcare, but it is long overdue being revolutionised by the consumer tech we have available in the world.
     
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #18
    False. There are such consumer devices on the market today that are NOT FDA approved. The AW has the sensors now as you say. Whatever reason they remain dormant its not because they require FDA approval.

    Withings Pulse O2
    Moxy Muscle Oxygen Sensor
     
  19. FatMax macrumors 6502

    FatMax

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    #19
    I can see how this can be useful whenever I get into a anaphylactic shock and can report live data (O2 and pulse) to the operator while waiting for an ambulance..
     
  20. bangers macrumors member

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    #20
    Its possible that the sensor is a battery hog, and they wanted to hedge their bets and keep it off at launch, since it was not something promised at launch. Maybe future software iterations will slowly build on what they have available so they can give us more without causing battery complaints.

    Its all just a guess as to why they didn't enable it. My best guesses are battery or accuracy.
     
  21. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Having the data is not for the doctor to sift through every second of data. It's for the Doctor to quickly visualize what's been going on with you in the last few months. All the Doctor needs to know are trends, not the numbers every second of your life.
     
  22. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #22
    Thanks for that onsite. My doctor has no desire to have or see the data, period.
     
  23. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

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    #23
    I can't. The operator isn't going to have you reading off readings from your watch while you wait. He'll ask about your symptoms and instruct you based off that. Once the ambulance gets they're they'll want to take measurements with something that produces much more accurate results.
     
  24. FatMax macrumors 6502

    FatMax

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    #24
    Well, i see your points, by all means.

    However, the decision to also dispatch for instance a helicopter could be determined with live values.

    I was once stung badly in a forest and had a very capable police officer/emergency diver by my side while we waited for the ambulance. Took a long time and he was getting ready to punch/cut a hole to the breathing tube...

    With live actual values those assessments can be more precise.
     

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