How does Samsung health measure blood oxygen?

In this guide, we will discuss how Samsung health measures blood oxygen, How you can measure your oxygen saturation, the steps on how to do it through your phone (if it has the feature included) and some additional recommendations in terms of how reliable or accurate it can be. Samsung Health is considered a very useful tool but it will never replace a visit to your doctor.

How does Samsung health measure blood oxygen?

If you are wondering How does Samsung health measure blood oxygen? We need to be aware that SpO2 or Oxygen saturation is a measure of the concentration of oxygen in your blood. Numerous phones have a series of sensors on the back of the phone where they say they can measure blood oxygen with a method called pulse oximetry, which emits and absorbs light waves through blood vessels in your fingertip.

However, Samsung has removed this feature from some of its newer phones, but if your device still has the feature, it can be useful at times. According to Samsung and starting with version 6.5, oxygen saturation or SpO2 measurement will no longer be provided as its own function. Instead, you can measure your oxygen saturation level by measuring your stress, in the stress tracker. You can download your oxygen saturation data by going to settings and downloading personal data.

How can I measure oxygen saturation?

As we have indicated, Samsung seemed to remove this capability from some of the newer models such as the Galaxy S20 but kept it on devices such as the S10. It is a simple process and the steps are fairly simple. Here are the steps on how to measure your blood’s oxygen saturation using the Samsung Health app:

  • Step 1: Launch Samsung Health on your Galaxy device
  • Step 2: Scroll all the way down to Stress and tap Measure
  • Step 3: Place your fingertip on the SpO2 sensor and make sure you stay still while you’re taking the measurement
  • Step 4: Once done, lift your fingertip from the sensor and you can review your data in the resulting My Stress screen

Once your phone is done measuring oxygen saturation, you will see a notification saying that it is ok to lift your phone from the sensor, right after you have been given the percentage denoting your oxygen saturation levels. Additionally, you will see your heart rate in beats per minute, and you will have some additional information available on what is SpO2 and the steps to follow for an accurate reading. 

Finally, since the information can be recorded, you can visit the SpO2 trends tab to see all the readings and compare new and previous measurements.

What can I do if I am not able to see the option?

Here are the steps for the older method if the changes haven’t been implemented in your market yet:

  • Step 1: Launch Samsung Health on your Galaxy device
  • Step 2: Scroll to the bottom, tap on Manage items and enable Oxygen saturation if necessary
  • Step 3: Tap Measure next to Oxygen saturation from the app’s main screen
  • Step 4: Place your fingertip on the SpO2 sensor and stay still throughout the measurement process

Which phones support this feature?

As indicated by Hayaro Huseman from androidcentral.com, “Samsung has removed the various health monitoring sensors from its newer phones like the S20, but plenty of older models are still capable of measuring your blood oxygen saturation levels. In fact, Samsung began including the SpO2 sensor on phones as far back as the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, and continued support all the way up to the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 9”. 

If by any chance you happen to be using one of the devices mentioned then you are all set. However, there is another way you can detect if the phone has the capability and that is by looking for the optical sensor on the back of the phone, right next to the camera sensors. Depending on the model, you will also have additional sensors to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.

Should I use my phone to check my blood oxygen saturation level?

Pulse oximeters are medical devices that can measure your oxygen levels in the blood, and it is usually measured in medical services or when needed. If you have followed the evolution of the virus worldwide, you may know by now that it is especially aggressive with people who have a weakened immune system and compromised breathing abilities, which makes them have less or lower oxygen concentrations in their blood.

Subsequently, more and more people are trying to find other ways to keep track of their health on their own during these times. Since pulse oximeters are expensive, some people have seen a more affordable solution in getting a smartphone with a SpO2 sensor.

As indicated on androidcentral.com, “For years, phone manufacturers like Samsung and numerous app developers have pitched the idea that you could use your phone to measure heart rate and even blood oxygen data, but as the evidence came in that this was not the most effective solution”. However, it is much more frequent these days to see people getting smartwatches with built-in SpO2 monitors to monitor their blood oxygen levels, leaving the smartphones to fade as the primary option for such purposes but, is it truly a good option?

Visit your doctor regularly

Having a phone or smartwatch that measures your SpO2 doesn’t mean that you are exempt from going to the doctor, especially if you have a medical condition. Many doctors will have varied opinions in regards to those devices being the solution you have been looking for. 

Even more so, we can find studies where researchers assure there is no scientific evidence supporting that smartphone technology is the most accurate and secure way of measuring your blood oxygen saturation and even if you find such studies, they will advise you not to trust their data entirely. 

Why is this blog about How does Samsung health measure blood oxygen important?

Relying only on your phone for blood oxygen saturation measurements may not be a good idea. Even if your phone has the feature or the option to measure it, remember to assist regularly to medical checkups since, as we have seen, the measurements are not entirely reliable as some studies have shown. 

We know for some users it can be annoying to have the feature taken and added somewhere else that doesn’t really say to measure SpO2, however, if you have a special condition where you constantly need to measure your saturation then consider getting a different device to do so.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does Samsung health measure blood oxygen

Can Samsung watch measure blood oxygen?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has a new FDA-cleared electrocardiogram feature and can measure blood oxygen levels on demand, but the battery life is not considered one of the best available in the market. 

Can I check my oxygen level on my phone?

You may check your oxygen levels on your phone but it should not replace visiting your doctor regularly, especially if you have a medical condition. There are also pulse oximeter apps that you can download such as the Pulse Oximeter-Heart Rate Oxygen Monitor app, among many others. 

How is oxygen in the blood measured?

Oxygen in the blood is measured by a simple test which uses a sensor placed on your fingertip or your earlobe. The Pulse oximetry measures how much oxygen the haemoglobin in your blood is carrying, which is called the oxygen saturation and this percentage is scored out of 100.

How can I increase my blood oxygen level?

Here are a few tips on how you can increase your blood oxygen levels naturally:

When the weather allows, open your windows.
Grow green things. 
Exercise.
Practice mindfulness.
Eat fresh, iron-rich foods.

Is 92 oxygen level low?

Normal arterial oxygen is approximately 75 to 100 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Values under 60 mm Hg usually indicate the need for supplemental oxygen. Normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 per cent. Values under 90 per cent are considered low.

References 

androidcentral.com (How to measure blood oxygen saturation levels with a Samsung phone using Samsung Health)

Androidcentral.com (You probably shouldn’t use your phone to check your blood oxygen saturation level)

sammobile.com

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