On September 15, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6 with a new sensor that enables blood oxygen monitoring capabilities, but Apple did not clarify which countries the feature would be available in.
According to the Apple Watch Feature availability page, blood oxygen monitoring is available in more than 100 countries, suggesting there are no health-related regulatory issues that Apple has to resolve.
Some health capabilities, like ECG and irregular heart rate notifications, have been limited in availability because of regulatory requirements, but it appears that those requirements do not apply to the blood oxygen monitoring feature.
Apple Watch Blood Oxygen Monitoring Feature
Measuring blood oxygen with Apple’s smartwatch is done through the new Blood Oxygen app. It uses a series of red and green LEDs and infrared light to measure the amount of light reflected by the skin, with advanced algorithms using this data to calculate the color of the blood to derive the blood oxygen level. Bright red blood has more oxygen, while darker red blood has less.
In a support document, Apple revealed that the blood oxygen monitoring feature will only be available via the Blood Oxygen app on the Apple Watch Series 6. The app can only be used on a Series 6 model running on the latest watchOS version and an iPhone 6s or later if it has been updated to the latest iOS version, iOS 14.
Apple explicitly states that the Blood Oxygen app will not be available for use by iPhone and Apple Watch users who are younger than 18. Additionally, it will not be available for Apple Watches that have been set up using the new Family Setup feature introduced in the latest watchOS version.
All that said, those who are eligible to use the app (18 and older, have an Apple Watch Series 6 and an iPhone running iOS 14) can use the new health feature to monitor their blood oxygen levels and get a more solid data of their health.
Aside from blood oxygen monitoring, Apple Watch Series 6, which was announced during the tech giant’s September 15 “Time Flies” event, also has a powerful S6 system, brighter always-on display, and new finish options.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is available for purchase from Apple’s online store, with orders set to arrive starting this Friday.