Since the Fitbit Ionic was released way back in 2017 Fitbit has been promising blood oxygen measurements. The original Versa, Versa 2, and Charge 3 are also equipped with the sensor but it hadn’t been turned on until now, close to three years later.
Fitbit has been testing the accuracy of the sensor for quite some time and presumably hoping to achieve FDA approval for the detection of sleep apnea.
It looks like Fitbit decided to enable the feature minus FDA approval or any medical claims of detecting sleep apnea but once users download the update they should see blood oxygen metrics with their sleep data in the Fitbit app.
Garmin also has a pulse ox sensor in many of their newer devices including the Forerunner 245, Vivoactive 4 and 4s, Vivosmart 4 and others. I’ve always found the results low compared to a medically approved oxygen meter but I can see trends – those times when blood oxygen dipped during the night.
But those trends can be questionable since maybe during that time the sensor wasn’t positioned correctly due to sleeping position or the device just took an inaccurate measurement.
That’s what’s so tricky about achieving medical accuracy and that’s why both Fitbit and Garmin provide no interpretation of the data. They leave it up to the user to see if there’s anything concerning.
I haven’t yet received the update on my Versa 2 but as soon as I do I will compare the results against Garmin and see which one seems to be more accurate.
Stay tuned and if you have received the update feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the feature and its data.
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