How a smart wearable can measure your blood oxygen saturation

If you find you’re always getting tired, sleepy, or a bit dizzy, it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep, but it may also be due to low blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). SpO2 indicates what percentage of your blood is saturated with oxygen, which tells you how well your red blood cells carry oxygen. A common symptom in patients with COVID-19 is lower blood oxygen saturation. As a vital sign, blood oxygen saturation is an important physiological parameter reflecting respiratory and circulatory function.


Breathing is crucial and is the most common way for the body to maintain healthy SpO2 levels. As you inhale, hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs, then travels throughout the body, releasing this oxygen as it goes. Generally, most children and adults do not need to worry about their blood oxygen levels, but since the coronavirus pandemic, SpO2 readings have become more useful than ever. As the virus causes lung damage and weakens the lungs’ ability to supply oxygen, doctors have come to rely on SpO2 as an important indicator of health, along with body temperature.

At a U.N. briefing in Geneva, Margaret Harris (a WHO spokeswoman) said:

“…COVID-19 patients at home should have the use of pulse oximetry, that’s measuring oxygen levels, so you can identify whether someone at home is deteriorating and would be better off having hospital care.”


A pulse oximeter shows the percentage of oxygen in your blood as an SpO2 reading. It also measures your heart rate. You might recognise such a device if you went to a doctor and they placed one on the end of your finger:

For someone who’s healthy, the normal blood oxygen saturation level will be around 95–100%.

If the oxygen level is below this, it can be an indicator that there is a respiratory problem, which is what COVID-19 affects. Also the levels will be low if you have breathing problems or chest pain.

But a pulse oximeter is a non-sustainable measure, inconvenient and not very quick if you want a fast measure anytime and anywhere. You’ll be happy to know then, that the HUAWEI Band 6 also has this technology that allows you to read your SpO2 levels.

As we compare these two devices, the HUAWEI Band 6 is a much better choice, at an affordable RRP of R1699, offering you 24/7 monitoring of your blood oxygen saturation levels. You can find it at the HUAWEI Store (Online), Telkom stores, Takealot online, Total Sports, Sportsmans Warehouse and Cape Union Mart stores.

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