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Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Greg

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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.

 

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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