Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Greg0
Masimo’s iSp02 Tracks Your Blood Oxygen And Pulse
The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but Sp02 is your blood oxygen rate. And while you might regularly track your pulse or blood pressure, chances are that you don’t normally monitor your perfusion index. But if you are an mountaineer or a pilot, there are good reasons to do so. We confess: we’re neither of those things, but we do profess a love to all things i-related. And this Apple gadget is a nifty piece of gear, small, well-made, and we do hike and run.
Launched at CES, the Masimo iSp02 is a small finger sensor that connects directly to your iPhone 3GS, 4, or 4s or earlier, iPad 3, or recent iPod Touch. We’ve seen other sensors that monitor your pulse, even ones that do it through headphones, but this device is special. Blood oxygen is an important measurement especially for those changing altitudes, and pilots are actually required to take oxygen if their levels change sufficiently.
The only monitor of it’s kind, it’s simple to use- just install the free app and connect the monitor using the 30-pin adapter. There are no batteries needed, and there aren’t a lot of extra bells or whistles. You can watch a nifty graph or see your numerical readings in real-time, and also export them (quite useful, and something many other health monitoring apps do not support). As you might expect, a lower oxygen reading indicates less oxygen in the blood, which can be a sign of hypoxia (or oxygen deficiency) and a deadly trap. If you’ve ever felt light-headed while hiking, you’ve experienced the first symptoms. At higher altitudes, it can be the greatest danger of all, since it attacks your reasoning and higher faculties. Our initial readings were around 98 percent, but we did notice it drop a bit at a few points. We can’t vouch for the accuracy of the oximeter- there aren’t many others out there like this one- but the pulse meter seemed correct.
Another interesting Apple-compatible device to monitor your health- and this one aimed directly at an audience who lacks an easy way to monitor these things on their smartphones. The Masimo iSp02 should be available shortly, and is slated to run around $250 or so.