Fitbit has begun rolling out its blood oxygen tracking feature to several of its wearables including the Fitbit Charge 3, Ionic, Versa, Versa Lite and Versa 2 — something that even an Apple Watch doesn’t allow you to monitor.
Users in the US started seeing blood oxygen monitoring or SPO2 data appear today according to a TizenHelp report and while the Fitbit app does note that the data is an estimate, its still a metric that you can’t monitor on any other popular wearable. Why is that wide variations in blood oxygen can point to issues with breathing, a clue that you may be suffering from conditions like sleep apnea?
It’s also worth noting that Fitbit had a sensor that could read SPO2 levels fitted on the Iconic which launched back in 2017. But the company was yet to enable the feature, even as it shipped other wearables with that sensor. All that’s changed though thanks to a software update.
Rumors about the Apple Watch have long suggested that Apple’s smartwatch will eventually add sleep tracking capabilities, including sleep apnea detection, and Apple holds some patents in this area. And while the feature could be a focal point of this year’s annual watchOS update, Fitbit has gotten a jump on Apple.
Another smartwatch with health tracking ambitions, the Withings ScanWatch debuted at CES earlier this month and that device is said to be currently awaiting clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ScanWatch also features a SpO2 sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation levels, among other features. But there’s no ship date yet for the ScanWatch.