Apple Watch 6 blood oxygen monitor to participate in an asthma study

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Apple Watch 6 blood oxygen monitor to participate in an asthma study
The Apple Watch Series 6 arrived with a bang and also with a key new feature - blood oxygen monitoring. The new SpO2 sensor promises to bring personal fitness and health monitoring to a whole new level. During the Time Flies launch event, Apple mentioned that Series 6 will participate in medical studies, making use of the new capabilities of the device. Now we have more information to expand on that.

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Apple, along with U.S. health insurer Anthem, will conduct a two-year virtual, or remote, study of 900 people with asthma between the ages of 18 and 64, CNBC reports. The aim is to assess whether the advanced health sensors in the Apple Watch can help manage and control asthma.

One group of participants will use Beddit sleep monitors, while the other will wear Apple Watch 6 devices. Participants will be asked to log in daily symptoms and triggers into a "digital asthma tool" to create behavioral “nudges” based on changes in signals from the Apple Watch’s health sensors, including heart rate, activity, and blood oxygen levels. 

"We hope this study can help the medical community produce new insights about asthma control and can identify effective digital tools that can help empower people around the world to better manage their condition," Myoung Cha, Apple's Head of Health Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement.

Some experts express doubts that the study will lead to real benefits for asthma sufferers. “It certainly will be effective at sending nudges, but whether these lead to modification of behavior or ultimately alarm fatigue and discontinuation is to be determined,” said Sachin Gupta, a pulmonologist based in San Francisco.

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