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  • Wristband Pulse Oximeter

    Posted by jen-kennedy on September 22, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Hello, my name is Jen and I’m the daughter of and caregiver to a PF patient – my mother.

    Do any of your have experience with a wristband style pulse ox that you found reliable?

    We’ve been using either a ring or fingertip style pulse ox with Mom, but she would prefer being able to wear something that keeps her hands free. We need one with a desat alarm &/or vibration and it would be wonderful if periods of continual monitoring were possible.

    I have been researching some wristband fitness trackers that have sp02 measuring capability (FitBit, Withings, etc.), although it seems that accuracy is lacking on many models. I’ve seen it reported that part of that is because it’s difficult to get a reliable reading on the wrist, but haven’t spoken to Mom’s Pulmonolgy team about that yet (I will soon!)

    I’d appreciate hearing from any of you who have looked into similar functionality/wearability. Please share what you’ve learned!

    P.S. I appreciate your posts so much. Thank you to everyone who contributes. I’ve learned so much from you in the past year. Your input also helped re-open travel possibilities for my Mom, who recently took an Amtrak to see her grandkids.  🙂

    john-kane replied 1 year, 4 months ago 8 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Charlene Marshall

    September 23, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for writing – what an important topic to discuss! It is really important to look at credible research behind these wristband pulse oximeter’s, as you say, so kudos for doing that and looking into the reliability of them. I wear an AppleWatch personally, version 6 I believe, because it looks at my oxygen levels and heart rate. I was skeptical about the reliability of it at first, but when I was in the hospital for COVID, my levels were really low and I had two of the pulse oximeter’s on my finger as they were reading differently, and the RN asked me to check my watch too and used it as the tie-breaker (in addition to how I was presenting clinically). She believed in the reliability of them so from there, thats been good enough for me! I also carry around a finger pulse ox in my purse.

    In addition to these two capabilities, I also like that it has the fall detect and emergency services feature on the AppleWatch which you can read about. Just makes me feel safer!
    Goodluck, your Mom is lucky to have you advocating for her.
    Take care,

  • norman-wendth

    September 23, 2022 at 9:37 am

    I too use the Apple Watch to keep track of my oxygen saturation. I find it hard to use for spot checks (one has to stay still, more still than I can usually manage), but it does a great job with readings in the background. I can check the associated app and see how I’ve been doing for the past few hours—especially helpful to keep track of my O2 saturation while sleeping.

    Good luck on finding just the right wrist monitor for you.


  • paul-salvatore

    September 23, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    Jen & All,

    I’ve been using Wellue’s CheckMe O2 Max for over a year now. It is a portable wrist based ring sensor that pretty much delivers hands free operation. To the positive, the unit is fairly accurate and it can capture up to (4) 10 hour monitoring sessions in memory. This make it ideal for wearing out and about or wearing at night. The data is retained in the app, but is also aggregated in Apple’s Health App. The unit can be set with low alerts & alarms for O2 Sat and high and low alerts for pulse.

    Apple Watch tends to skew O2 Sat high by 1-2%. The limitation of AW is that it can only take reading when one is pretty much motionless. I suspect all wrist based monitors will have this same limitation.

    The ring sensor seems flimsy, but in over a years use, with reasonable care, I have not broken mine. So it is tougher than it appears. The unit is available on Amazon for ~ $200. I haven’t seen anything else like it in the market place.


    Best of luck.


  • roger-cummins

    September 27, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve been using the Wellvue wrist device that has a sensor on the thumb for almost a year now, and I don’t know what I’d do without it.  I wear it all day, everyday, and even wear it at night occasionally.  I have Raynaud’s and Scleroderma so my pinky finger is the only finger that works (most of the time) with the finger-tip oximeter because of low perfusion, but the Wellvue on my thumb pretty much works all the time.  When both of them are working they’re reading close to the same number.  I love that it downloads and saves an hourly graph every day in the app.  Especially helpful is the vibration feature that triggers when it reaches the O2 level you set in the app. That allows me to increase my oxygen when I’m running errands or whatever.  Again, I’d be totally lost without this.  I thought about the ring type buy I think it would get in my way too much.  Hope this helps.

  • judy-fraser

    September 29, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve been using the thumb based Wellvue sensor for more than a year and find it indispensable.  I’ve checked it at my doctor’s office when they use the finger-tip sensor and the readings match pretty well. I have the trigger point set to 90%, so get a vibration when my O2 drops below that number.


  • elaine

    October 5, 2022 at 2:34 am

    I also use the wellvue wrist band – it’s very effective and helps me show my doctors truly what is going on- it’s also been helpful to recognize the signs when I am taking a deep decline in oxygen.

    I highly recommend-

  • john-kane

    October 11, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    I just started looking into wrist worn sensor watches. Whiting s is the only one that says they are FDA approved for the SP02 sensor they use.

    More research to be done.

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