Smart Watch With In-Built Pulse Rate Meter
The world of wearables is expanding rapidly. Humans have devised fitness trackers and smartwatches, which are being filled with increasing amounts of high tech. With this incredible range, it is easy to feel confused. Which model should you pick? Do you really need that smartwatch with a pulse oximeter?
The idea of having an accurate pulse and oxygen readings on your wrist appeals to any fitness enthusiast. The trick was first applied by Garmin, with Fitbit and Withings later including this gimmick in their fitness trackers. But is it really useful?
Definition of a pulse oximeter
Basically, it is a device designed to measure heart rate, pulse rate and oxygen level in your blood. It used to be a clip-on piece of tech placed on your finger, ear lobe, or toe. Now, it is worn on your wrist.
Your pulse rate is most commonly detected by optical monitors. These use light for measuring the blood flow. Tiny LEDs on the back of the device project green light onto the skin, and the various lengths of еру emitted light waves reach the blood. Once the light is reflected back, the data is caught by another sensor and processed to produce the final readings.
The infrared and red light sensors monitor oxygen. The norm is 95% and higher. The process is based on the way in which light will pass through the part of your body. This data is delivered to the screen, which displays the measurements.
Are the readings accurate?
This has been the bone of contention since the beginning. Many athletes still stick to chest straps. In the past, wearables were criticized as glaringly inaccurate, but the times and technology have changed.
Naturally, sensors of chest straps are positioned near the heart, with less room for error. However, present-day optical monitors may not be described as completely unreliable. The principle of evaluating light reflection cannot be called inherently flawed. The key thing is to make sure the device sits tightly around your wrist, but not tight enough to interfere with the natural blood flow.
The wearable is especially handy for people engaged in sports and active lifestyles. If you are keen on expeditions, hiking, or alpine sports, you are bound to appreciate the benefits. In the case of mountain climbing, oxygen readings become essential. You can monitor the way they change as the altitude increases.
This explains the noticeable interest coming from tech company bosses. Today, the technology has been embraced by companies in the fitness wearables sector. Apple has already attempted to embed a pulse rate monitor into the Apple watch.
In 2017, Microsoft filed patents hinting to some health-oriented device resembling Microsoft Band. Apparently, the gadget would include a built-in pulse oximeter. Rivals like Samsung may be researching the opportunities as well.