The New Apple Watch Measures Blood Oxygen To Help Users Monitor The Effects Of COVID-19

Apple Watch 6 blood oxygen
Image credit: Apple

According to a new article by, the new series 6 Apple watch can monitor blood oxygen; the technology is designed to aid users monitor the effects of the COVID-19 virus, which lowers blood oxygen to dangerous levels. The move is an attempt to compete with Fitbit, which introduced a way to measure changes in blood oxygen earlier this year.

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“With Apple Watch Series 6, you can measure your blood oxygen right from your wrist,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said on Tuesday.

Apple also introduced a smart fitness service powered by its watches, which can deliver virtual workouts, catering to customers trying to stay in shape during quarantine. The company also rolled its TV, news and fitness into a single smart bundle, reports BusinessWire.

Apple shares have soared this year even as the virus has crippled economies around the world, thanks in large part to booming sales of work-from-home items.

A smartwatch
The new health sensor in Series 6 shines red and infrared light onto your wrist and measures the amount of light reflected back. Advanced algorithms use the state and calculate the color of your blood which indicates the amount of oxygen present. The new blood oxygen app lets you take a measurement in just 15 seconds. (Image credit: Apple)

Measure your blood oxygen level

The Blood Oxygen app periodically measures your blood oxygen level throughout the day if background measurements are turned on, but you can also take an on-demand measurement at any time. The process is very simple:

  1. Open the Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Rest your arm on a table or in your lap, and make sure your wrist is flat, with the Apple Watch display facing up.
  3. Tap Start, then hold your arm very still during the 15-second countdown.
  4. At the end of the measurement, you receive the results. Tap Done.

Note: For best results, the back of your Apple Watch needs skin contact. Wearing your Apple Watch not too tight or too loose, with room for your skin to breath, helps ensure successful Blood Oxygen measurements.

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A healthy person will usually have blood oxygen levels in the mid- to high 90s. When people have health conditions such as lung disease, sleep disorders or respiratory infections, levels can dip to the 60s to the low 90s.

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Cathy Russey () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies and specialized in writing about the latest medical wearables and enabling technologies on the market. Cathy can be contacted at info(at)