Pulse oximeters have become popular as a personal purchase over the past few years. Although developed in the 1970s, it is not until the 1980s that they become commercialized. Since then they have significantly come down in price. The worldwide market for pulse oximetry is now over a billion US dollars.
There are many brands on the market today and these devices typically retail for less than $20. The Oxybios RZ0001 is one such example.
Measuring only 6.00 x 3.50 x 3.00 cm and weighing 280 grams, this is an Oximeter that easily fits into your pocket. It is small, lightweight, portable and easy to carry with its strap included.
Pop in the 2 AAA 1.5V alkaline batteries and you are set to go. There is nothing to do in terms of setting up the device. To conserve battery life, the Oximeter will automatically switch itsself off 5 seconds after displaying your results. You should get a minimum of 20 hours battery life of continuous use.
The OLED colour screen features four display (direction) modes. You cycle between them via the button below the screen. The resolution of the display is 96 x 64 pixels.
The device features everything that you would expect from an Oximeter. It will churn out your SpO2 measurement, heart rate and plot the value of your pulse via a small diagram on the screen.
SpO2 stands for peripheral capillary oxygen saturation, an estimate of the amount of oxygen in the blood. More specifically, it is the percentage of oxygenated haemoglobin compared to the total amount of haemoglobin in the blood. For those who do not remember their science classes, haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. It is found inside red blood cells and gives them their red colour.
To obtain a measurement, switch the device on, slot your finger into the sensor and close the lid. Inside the probe is a light emitter that sends out two streams of light: one red and one infrared. Oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood absorb different amounts of these lights. By calculating the difference, the pulse Oximeter measures how much oxygen is in your blood.
Everyone’s oxygen saturation fluctuates, especially when changing activities throughout the day. Cold hands, weak pulse, hand movements, fingernail polish and acrylic nails are some of the most common factors that may affect a reading and cause inaccurate results.
This value is represented by a percentage. If your Oximeter says 97%, this means that each red blood cell is made up of 97% oxygenated and 3% non-oxygenated haemoglobin. Normal SpO2 values vary between 95 and 100%. A healthy body should never fall below 95%, although oxygen saturation above 92% is generally considered safe.
The Oxybios RZ0001 will continuously churn out your readings until you remove your finger. That means that you can watch in real-time how your metrics are changing. However, you can’t really use it while you are exercising, as you will have a square device hanging off of your finger.
Oxybios RZ0001 Pulse Oximeter
Good blood oxygenation is necessary to supply the energy your muscles need in order to function, which increases during a sports activity. Although measuring oxygen saturation during a workout may not be necessary for most people, wearing a pulse oximeter can be useful in certain situations. Serious athletes may, for example, want to monitor oxygen levels during strenuous workouts. They are also useful for mountain climbers and athletes whose oxygen levels may decrease at high altitudes.
Essential reading: Guide to buying a pulse oximeter
Measuring oxygen saturation is more important for those with certain medical conditions such as asthma or pneumonia or patients recovering from a recent illness or surgery. Monitoring your oxygen levels in these cases can help to ensure your safety.
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