Last year we added a new term to our health vocabulary, and suddenly all other terms have faded into the background. Covid-19 has been hanging over our heads for some time, and the virus has drawn our attention to something we seldom considered worth monitoring: blood oxygen.
Blood oxygen – as important as heart rate and blood pressure
Blood oxygen is just as important a metric as heart rate or blood pressure, but it wasn’t until we caught this virus that we realized the importance of monitoring it. Also known as SpO2 or oxygen saturation, this is a measure of the amount of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood as opposed to the amount of hemoglobin without it. In simple terms, it means the amount of oxygen that is in your blood, or the amount of oxygen that is being absorbed into your blood.
We all know that we need oxygen to stay alive, but it’s not as simple as breathing in and out. How well the oxygen you breathe is absorbed in your blood and then distributed to the rest of your body determines how well your body works. Basically, all of our organs require a certain amount of oxygen to function properly, and this oxygen is delivered to the organs through the blood. If these levels are not met, the consequences can in some cases be severe or even fatal.
A factor in Covid and not just in Covid!
Since Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, a drop in SpO2 levels is one of the earliest indicators that one might be infected and can be life-saving not only for the infected person but also for others in the area.
A decrease in blood oxygen levels can lead to hypoxemia, a condition in which the person’s body does not supply oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs. SpO2 below 90 to 905 percent is often viewed as a serious problem and it is recommended that you see a doctor urgently if your blood oxygen levels drop too much.
Would you like to check the SpO2 levels? See a doctor, get an oximeter …
But SpO2 is not just something to be monitored all the time because something is happening around the world. SpO2 should be monitored as regularly or frequently as you monitor your heart rate or blood pressure. This is because by regularly monitoring SpO2 levels, you can identify underlying issues early on that can ultimately help you live healthier, risk-free lives.
To monitor their blood oxygen levels, people either invested in an oximeter or drove to see a doctor. However, the problem with these methods of measuring blood oxygen levels is simple: they are episodic, which means that your SpO2 level is only measured when the device is on your finger or when you see a doctor. These methods do not always take measurements. If your SpO2 levels drop when you don’t have an oximeter on your finger, you may not be able to take this into account.
… Or just get the new OnePlus Band
There’s an easier way to keep track of your blood oxygen levels at all times, and that’s where the recently launched OnePlus Band comes in. Aside from all the things one looks for in a fitness band, including step count, heart rate sensor, exercise monitor, the OnePlus band also solves a more contemporary problem by including an SpO2 sensor. The band has a special blood oxygen sensor, making it the first fitness band on the Indian market to have such a function. The tape uses red and infrared light sensors to monitor SpO2 levels. This is paired with powerful hardware and intelligent algorithms that not only read blood oxygen levels, but also quickly identify underlying problems that would otherwise have been overlooked.
With an SpO2 monitor on your fitness band, your blood oxygen levels are monitored 24/7, and you don’t have to see a doctor or put an oximeter on your finger to take the readings. You can record your SpO2 levels at a specific point in time by simply lifting your wrist. Otherwise the band will keep recording it in the background. The band also comes with almost two weeks worth of battery, so you don’t have to worry about the battery running out soon. You also get a 1.1-inch AMOLED display that allows you to view the basic information on-site, while accessing a more detailed version through the OnePlus Health app, which you can install on your smartphone.
OnePlus offers a fitness band that goes beyond just tracking fitness to help us live healthier, risk-free lives. With this, OnePlus really introduced a device that was badly needed. The OnePlus Band has a lot of features, but we believe its ability to record SpO2 levels makes it more of a necessity than a luxury at this time. And at a cost of Rs. 2,499, it actually costs less than some basic oximeters on the market.