Masimo claims Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature is unreliable


Apple on Thursday began selling revised models of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US without the blood oxygen feature as the company faces a patent dispute with medical company Masimo. In the midst of this situation, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said that Apple Watch users are better off without the blood oxygen feature, as he calls it unreliable.

Masimo says Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature is unreliable

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kiani criticized Apple for “masquerading” the health feature offered with the Apple Watch as a “reliable, medical pulse oximeter.” According to the executive, Apple’s implementation is unreliable and consumers “are better off without it.”

“Apple is masquerading what they are offering to consumers as a reliable, medical pulse oximeter, even though it is not,” he said. “I really feel wholeheartedly that consumers are better off without it.” He also argued that pulse oximetry “is not useful unless it is a continuous monitor.” Apple responded by saying that the feature is reliable and can save lives.

The blood oxygen monitoring feature was added in 2020 with the Apple Watch Series 6. In 2021, a study by the University of São Paulo compared the technology built into the Apple Watch with two oximeters available on the market. The study concluded that although Apple Watch sometimes showed higher SpO2 values, the results were still fairly accurate and similar.

A year later, another study published in SAGE’s Digital Health journal compared the oximeter built into the Apple Watch with the Masimo Radical-7 and also concluded that the results were very similar between the two devices.

Apple Watch’s blood oxygen monitoring feature requires the user to open the app and wait 15 seconds to get estimated levels. Periodically, when the user is not moving, Apple Watch checks the blood oxygen level automatically in the background. This also happens when the user is asleep.

Apple Watch ban in the U.S.

In January 2023, a US court ruled that Apple had infringed one of Maximo’s pulse oximetry technology patents with the Apple Watch. In October, the ITC agreed with the decision and upheld the court’s ruling. As a result, Apple was forced to stop selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US last month.

To circumvent the ban, Apple has agreed to disable pulse oximetry features on Apple Watch models sold in the U.S. from today.

The only thing we know for sure at this point is that the dispute between Masimo and Apple will continue for quite some time.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Apple on Thursday began selling revised models of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US without the blood oxygen feature as the company faces a patent dispute with medical company Masimo. In the midst of this situation, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said that Apple Watch users are better off without the blood oxygen feature, as he calls it unreliable.

Masimo says Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature is unreliable

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kiani criticized Apple for “masquerading” the health feature offered with the Apple Watch as a “reliable, medical pulse oximeter.” According to the executive, Apple’s implementation is unreliable and consumers “are better off without it.”

“Apple is masquerading what they are offering to consumers as a reliable, medical pulse oximeter, even though it is not,” he said. “I really feel wholeheartedly that consumers are better off without it.” He also argued that pulse oximetry “is not useful unless it is a continuous monitor.” Apple responded by saying that the feature is reliable and can save lives.

The blood oxygen monitoring feature was added in 2020 with the Apple Watch Series 6. In 2021, a study by the University of São Paulo compared the technology built into the Apple Watch with two oximeters available on the market. The study concluded that although Apple Watch sometimes showed higher SpO2 values, the results were still fairly accurate and similar.

A year later, another study published in SAGE’s Digital Health journal compared the oximeter built into the Apple Watch with the Masimo Radical-7 and also concluded that the results were very similar between the two devices.

Apple Watch’s blood oxygen monitoring feature requires the user to open the app and wait 15 seconds to get estimated levels. Periodically, when the user is not moving, Apple Watch checks the blood oxygen level automatically in the background. This also happens when the user is asleep.

Apple Watch ban in the U.S.

In January 2023, a US court ruled that Apple had infringed one of Maximo’s pulse oximetry technology patents with the Apple Watch. In October, the ITC agreed with the decision and upheld the court’s ruling. As a result, Apple was forced to stop selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US last month.

To circumvent the ban, Apple has agreed to disable pulse oximetry features on Apple Watch models sold in the U.S. from today.

The only thing we know for sure at this point is that the dispute between Masimo and Apple will continue for quite some time.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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