Review of the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter
The iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter is a handy little device that you can pop on the end of your finger to check your pulse and oxygen level, making it easier to monitor your key vitals throughout the day. Whether it’s to monitor an ongoing condition or simply because you’re a quantified self fanatic, the size and simplicity of this particular device may be the one for you.
WHAT IS TRACKED?
The device tracks the pulse rate (in beats per minute), the oxygen saturation level of your blood (otherwise known as SpO2) and that perfusion score (volume of blood flow). Put simply it can show you how your heart rate is doing, how oxygenated your blood is and how well your blood if flowing round your body.
I have had the pleasure of trying our a number of pulse-related devices, but never a device that trackers SpO2 levels (or perfusion for that matter). So I can say the heart rate always seemed about right for what I’d just been doing and was similar to other devices when I compared. However, I have nothing to compare the other two figures to, apart from the fact that the technology is the same as they use in hospitals, so I can only assume it’s accurate. Also, I found that after a couple of hours on the bike my SpO2 had come down by about the right amount, so that’s an encouraging sign of the iHealth’s accuracy.
If you were to simply search for ‘iHealth’ in the Apple App Store (and I’m sure the Google Play store will be coming soon too [UPDATE: still no Android app I’m afraid folks]) then you can be forgiven for being a little bit confused as to which one you should be using for the device you have. According to the packaging I have in front of me there is a dedicated ‘iHealth SPO2’ app, although upon a little more research there are also ‘MyVitals’ and ‘MyVitals 2.0’ that work with not only this device but the host of others available in the iHealth range. But for the purposes of this review we’ll focus on the dedicated services (with reviews of the others to follow in the coming weeks).
The iHealth SPO2 app is free, simple and gives you the data you want right there. It also allows you to see how your figures compare to previous collections in the fast becoming standard line-graph over time. The app had no issues while I was trying it out, it is functional while not being the most attractive app out there.
Once set up, which was a relatively painless process too, the bluetooth syncing seemed very reliable and I didn’t have any problems with losing connection. There was also no major need to open the app or switch on the device in any specific order, which some devices insist upon or you’ll end up with one or both pieces of tech ‘freaking out’ (for want of a better phrase).
The device charges via a USB cable and seems to do so in just a couple of hours. With a relatively simple display to power and bluetooth not seeming to hog the battery as it did a couple of years ago, a full battery seems to last for quite a while too, so I’d certainly say it performs very well on this front.
The RRP for the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter is £59.99, although it can be found for closer to the £50 mark if you look hard enough. This does seem a little steep for what it is, but if it’s something you needed to keep track of a serious condition I’d imagine it’s less than many others on the market.
All in all, I’d say that iHealth has made a great device that works well and is convenient to carry around in the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter. However, I feel even at £50 it’s a little on the expensive side for someone looking to add it to their portfolio of quantified self devices. Having said that, if someone needed to carry around a device to check these vitals at regular intervals I would happily recommend and see the price as a much smaller one to pay for the size, convenience and ease of use.