That allowed Fitbit to race ahead of Apple Watch - the company quietly turned on this feature, SpO2, in most of their popular products.
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. The company confirmed to CNET that it has rolled out this feature on the Versa, Versa 2, Versa Lite, Charge 3, and Ionic wearables located in the United States. The tool, called SpO2 or Blood Oxygen Monitoring, will work on Fitbit Versa, Ionic and Charge 3 wearables. "Estimated blood oxygen variation approximates the changes in your blood oxygen saturation".
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.
The Fitbit app notes that SP02 levels are "estimated". Blood oxygen levels that are low can be a sign of other medical issues from sleep apnea for example or heart disease.
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When Fitbit do succeed in getting FDA approval expect them to roll out OTA updates to all of their smartwatches (since 2017) to enable this new feature.
While Fitbit has been struggling in the face of stiff competition from the Apple Watch, the smartwatch maker has managed to beat Apple to the punch on one feature.
Blood oxygen monitoring is a feature found in some consumer gadgets, such as select smartphones.
"Fitbit is continuing to collect clinical data to test and develop FDA-cleared features for sleep apnoea", a Fitbit spokesperson told Gizmodo. In terms of percentage, between 95% to 100% of blood oxygen level is considered to be normal, with anything below it counted to be low and indicating potential chances of serious health risks that may require immediate attention.