Fitbit Estimated Oxygen Variation: We explain SpO2, sleep apnea and blood oxygen

One of the vital vital metrics on a Fitbit tracker is the Estimated Oxygen Variation – and now that each tracker is fitted with an SpO2 sensor, everybody can take benefit.

Blood oxygen can be utilized to detect sleep situations akin to sleep apnea, and supply a greater evaluation of what is going on on with our our bodies in these misplaced hours.

However Fitbit’s Estimated Oxygen Variation information wants a little bit clarification.

We spoke to Dr. Conor Heneghan, Fitbit’s Lead Sleep Analysis Scientist to elucidate every thing that you must know.

What’s Estimated Oxygen Variation?

Estimated Oxygen Variation is a studying of the oxygen ranges in your blood. That is carried out by way of the SpO2 sensor, which is a purple LED within the optical coronary heart price monitor.

Your Fitbit tracker will monitor blood oxygen saturation as a share, which you’ll see in your Well being Metrics dashboard. However Estimated Oxygen Variation is totally different.

Fitbit’s detection is a little bit totally different. This metric examines the distinction within the highs and lows of your blood oxygen ranges and appears to focus on potential underlying situations.

It is vital to notice that  Estimated Oxygen Variation is a Fitbit Premium function, so on;y subscribers will see it.

Fitbit gadgets with Estimated Oxygen Variation

The function may be discovered on any Fitbit tracker with a SpO2 sensor. And with the launch of the Encourage 3, which means all the present vary is eligible.

This contains:

  • Fitbit Versa 4 (and all Versa fashions)
  • Fitbit Sense and Sense 2
  • Fitbit Cost 3/4/5
  • Fitbit Luxe
  • Fitbit Encourage 3

Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph defined


You may discover Estimated Oxygen Variation in your sleep stats. Head to sleep stats, select an evening’s sleep, and go to the Restoration tab.

Not like some gadgets that offers you a quantity to your blood oxygen stage. Nonetheless, a Fitbit spokesperson instructed us that the graph offered by Fitbit is an “estimation of the variability of oxygen ranges within the bloodstream”.

It isn’t a graph of the particular SpO2 estimate.

The instance screenshot above reveals what the graph will seem like – and from what we will see, blood oxygen is monitored by the sensor throughout sleep – and variations that might present a sleep apnea challenge are highlighted on the graph.

Important studying: Fitbit’s Sleep Score explained

“We’re exhibiting a metric that correlates with the typical variability of your blood oxygen stage,” mentioned Dr. Conor Heneghan.

“Let’s say Individual A has oxygen stage of 96% +/-1% and Individual B has oxygen stage of 95% +/- 4% all through the night time, then Individual B will see the next “estimated oxygen variation” all through the night time. We calculate this each minute.”

Can Fitbit monitor sleep apnea?


“We aren’t claiming this can be utilized to correlate with sleep apnea standing,” mentioned mentioned Dr. Conor Heneghan. “No, there may be not at the moment an alert throughout the machine or app. This graph is one other alternative for us to supply extra information to our customers.”

So whereas a big stage of variation in blood oxygen COULD present sleep apnea – Fitbit will not spell this out for you. However you may wish to get it checked out.

“Seeing frequent large variations is a clue that you could be be experiencing respiration disturbances throughout sleep—one thing you may wish to speak to your physician about, notably when you expertise signs akin to extreme tiredness, loud loud night breathing, or gasping throughout sleep. Understand that the way you put on your machine may have an effect on this information.”

There are many caveats right here, not least the “estimated” a part of the Fitbit title. It is doubtless the corporate bought fed up ready for FDA clearance within the wake of rivals getting comparable options out onto the wrists of customers. So, for now, that you must test the information and make your personal conclusions.

What else can Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph present?

In fact, blood oxygen is not all about sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is a standard explanation for variation in oxygen stage, however sleeping at altitude may enhance variability. It’s possible that some sorts of coronary heart failure are related to variation in oxygen stage, too (Cheyne-Stokes respiration),” mentioned Dr. Conor Heneghan.

So whereas Fitbit is not claiming this to be a medical function, when you’re seeing excessive cases of Estimate Oxygen Variation, you may wish to present that information to your physician.


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