Saturday, June 29, 2024

When Will I Be Able To Monitor My Blood Oxygen Level Again With My Apple Watch

During COVID, the blood oxygen monitor app on the Apple Watch was invaluable for me and many others worldwide. It helped with preliminary self-diagnosis at the onset of symptoms and monitored our recoveries. I used it daily to check my lung health. However, I lost access to the app when I took my Apple Watch to the Apple Store for a battery update. My watch battery was down to about 74%, and I often used power-saving or airplane mode to extend its life. When I sent it in, Apple returned a different watch instead of the original.

On the plus side, the new watch had no scratches from my trip to the Grand Canyon, and the battery was back to 100%, making it feel brand new. However, this unit no longer had a working oximeter app.

I wonder when we will get it back. There's not much news, and few seem to be asking about it. I did some research and found that in April, Apple filed an appeal to overturn an International Trade Commission decision (Reuters). Apple argued that Masimo's patent was based on "hypothetical devices" and that the Irvine, California-based company wasn't planning on making devices at all. It seems unlikely that Apple's appeal will succeed.

It's hard to predict what will happen next. Tech companies often release features only to remove them later, usually due to lack of use or replacement with better functions. Many users bought the Apple Watch for the oximeter, so it's an important feature.

Two scenarios might unfold: Apple could continue to fight Masimo up to the Supreme Court, possibly leading to a settlement, or they might reengineer the oximeter with different technology. However, a new oximeter workaround is unlikely to be ready for this year's Apple Watch.

There are growing rumors about a new health feature: blood pressure monitoring. The next Apple Watch may help users monitor changes in their blood pressure trends rather than exact readings.

I believe this would be a significant reason for users to upgrade to the next Apple Watch. I know I will be upgrading, and many others might too. Still, I hope to monitor my blood oxygen levels again.

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