Apple Watch Series 6 has a new blood oxygen sensor that helps measure an important symptom of COVID-19. Apple revealed the new $400 watch as the high end of its Apple Watch lineup today at an event.
This is probably important for people who have tested positive but aren’t yet ready to go to the hospital, or have been told by a doctor to stay at home until you feel worse.
I’ve been using the Apple Watch for a while and it measures my heart rate. I’ve also used the Brainworks Medio Smart Health app, which is a web application that tracks your heart rate and breathing rate. One of the things the app does is measure your COVID-19 risk. It does so with the camera, detecting changes in your skin.
You fill out a questionnaire, saying whether you have a sore throat or runny nose or lost your sense of smell. The one missing element for detecting COVID-19 symptoms is your temperature, which you would have to measure on your own. Otherwise, with the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Medio Smart Health app, you could automatically track symptoms related to COVID-19. The combination of Brainworks and the Apple Watch could prompt people to go get tested if they’re at high risk for being infected.
The Apple Watch measures blood oxygen saturation and pulse oximetry. There are other ways to measure your blood oxygen, including other watches including Fitbit’s Sp02 watch face. But Apple’s devices tend to reach a broader market than health-specific devices.
Apple itself did not say it could be used for COVID-19 detection, but it did say it could be used for pandemic-related studies. While Apple doesn’t tell you your COVID-19 risk, Brainworks does.