Maintaining a healthy respiratory system in this current age is vital. One way to check on that is by tracking your blood's oxygen saturation levels.
An oximeter is a crucial instrument needed to monitor and track your oxygen saturation levels. However, if you aren't able to get your hands on this device, app developers have found a way to use the same principles of photoplethysmography or PPG that allows detecting volumetric variations of blood circulation by using a light source, according to News18.
Oximeter apps work by using the phone's flashlight and camera, Republic World said, instead of the infrared light the oximeter uses to measure SpO2 levels. The apps will calibrate the camera and the flashlight and then it is ready to read your blood oxygen levels! You simply need to press your finger against the camera and the flash and wait for a few seconds for the app to run its reading.
Here are three iPhone health apps that can offer users SpO2 monitoring and tracking services for free:
This app measures the user's heart rate, oxygen saturation and respiration rate.There is an easy and simple registration process you have to do before you can start the scan.
The app keeps your vital scan history and even has analytics so you can make sense of the vitals you've been recording. Hospitals and doctors are also able to monitor their patients remotely because of these features.
CareNow Healthcare is making their app free to use on your iPhone and iPad with unlimited vital scans, as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
News18 has run trials comparing CarePlix Vitals with two different oximeter devices and reported that the app "showed fairly accurate results during each test."
2. Blood Oxygen
Like CarePlix Vitals, Blood Oxygen can read the user's finger for blood oxygen levels and the heart rate. The SpO2 monitoring test is done by asking the users to check their breathing pattern via a start/stop function.
The app is free to use. You can add different profiles to keep track of your family members' vitals as well. Alerts can also be given to notify you of low saturation levels.
Your records are kept and you can export a PDF of your history that you can share with your doctor. It also comes with an Apple Watch app.
With News18's tests against two oximeter device, it is worth to note that the range may be vague for users. The app itself sets a disclaimer that it cannot be used for diagnostic or medical purposes, rather just a personal log.
This app cannot check your oximeter in-app, but it allows users to record data from their oximeter for future references. Users log their pulse oximeter readings in the app. They can then share their health information with their doctor or healthcare provider.
This app currently supports Wellue/Viatom Pulse oximeter devices and is available for iPhones and iPads. The app strictly puts the disclaimer that this app is not for emergency use.
Talk to Your Doctor
All these apps are free and allow its users to monitor and track their vitals, but it cannot be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your doctor or local government if you are experiencing any symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in need of emergency medical care.