Looks like Apple Watch’s Health capabilities are going to increase with this year’s model as new details found in iOS 14 code snippet suggests Apple is working on adding the ability to detect blood oxygen levels on the wearable device.
With this new ability to detect blood oxygen levels Apple Watch should be able to inform the user with a push notification about low blood oxygen levels. Knowing this information can be crucial in reducing respiratory or cardiac arrest. This will be similar to how the Watch can already send out notification about the heart rate.
While the code suggesting the addition of blood oxygen level monitoring feature was found in iOS 14, it is still not clear what kind of hardware will be required for this feature. Is this something that can be added to current Apple Watch models with a software update or will this feature be exclusively available on Apple Watch Series 6, which is expected to release later this year.
9to5Mac, which saw the iOS 14 code snippet containing details about blood oxygen levels detection feature notes that the ability to measure blood oxygen levels has been part of Apple’s heart rate monitor hardware since the original Apple Watch.
All Apple Watches released since then have had this ability however Apple never took advantage of it on software level. If that is the case, then we could be looking at Apple adding this new health feature to recent models with watchOS 7.
Along with the introduction of blood oxygen level detection feature, Apple is also working on improving the ECG functionality that is available on Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5. The company is working on solving the ECG issue that resulted in inconclusive ECG readings when the heart rate measured between 100 and 120 bpm. In the near future ECG app will be able to give conclusive results even with those heart readings.