A few weeks ago, I wrote about the smart socks — a device that was designed to prevent SIDS and measure the oxygen saturation level in the blood of infants. While that has a ways to go, I just saw a tweet about a new device designed to do the same thing, using a smart phone. It’s called the iSpO2, and it’s available for the iPhone and iPad.
The device isn’t cheap — Amazon.com has it for over 250 dollars right now. However, most mHealth devices do require some sort of financial investement, at least the ones that mimic something in the doctor’s office.
The website lists some different people that could benefit from using this device. It mentions high altitude sports participants and pilots. I thought these were interesting suggestions, since I probably would have just thought of people who were struggling to breathe, or infants. But I guess anyone can become hypoxic, especially those doing something at a high altitude. The site also states that the “only practical way to know if you are hypoxic or in danger of becoming hypoxic is to use a pulse oximeter.” And since most people probably don’t own one, and that’s kind of scary (though, I’m sure there are physical symptoms that may indicate this.)
the iSpO2 monitor attaches to an iPhone or iPad through the charging port, and the oxygen saturation level and pulse rate is measured by placing a sensor on the users hand (not unlike one used in a doctor’s office for children.) The levels are then displayed relatively quickly, and can be charted over time. At sea-level, a normal SpO2 level is between 95 and 100%.
Data can be emailed and downloaded, which is probably helpful for one reason or another. I’ll be honest, I really want one of these devices — or the smart socks — because my son’s SpO2 levels are often spotty at doctor’s appointments (typically in the low 90s). But at the price, I probably won’t be getting one for awhile. I’m hoping we’ll see more devices like those coming out though in the future, there’s definitely a need for them in my opinion — even if it’s just for sporting and aviation.
The website does state that it isn’t intended for medical use, but moreso for climbers, hikers, and pilots.