The battery that comes in the box can provide up to 2,400 spot checks. The device corresponds to international safety standards, thus, is absolutely safe to use.
Some users find this device a bit overpriced.
Thanks to the IP33 waterproof feature and a drop test that ensure high quality and long service life of the device, you can use this Nonin oximeter at home as well as on the go without having to worry about damaging it.
± 2% / ± 3bpm
1 x AAA battery / up to 21 hours
iHealth Air pulse oximeter detects and synchronizes with your tablet or smartphone. Thanks to a mobile app, you can have your test results in Excel or PDF formats.
If you highly value innovative digital technologies and need to regularly measure the oxygen saturation, the iHealth Air Wireless oximeter is exactly what you need.
This pulse oximeter comes with 2 AAA batteries, a carry belt, and a storage pouch so you can start using it right out of the box. Plus, storage and transportation are completely hassle-free.
Might not fit small fingers.
Whether you need to use a pulse oximeter to track your health conditions or simply check the state of your health before and after workouts, this portable Beurer PO30 will be a great fit for you.
± 2% / ± 2bpm
2 x AAA batteries / up to 24 hours
Rotating display with adjustable brightness makes it easy to read the results not only for a patient but also for a tester himself. An affordable price is a great advantage as well.
Information in the user's guide doesn't seem to be particularly comprehensive.
If you're looking for accuracy, usability, and reasonable price all in a single device, the MeasurePro's designed for you. Choose this accurate pulse oximeter to know your oxygen level and heart rate anywhere, anytime.
± 2% / ± 2bpm
2 x AAA batteries / up to 24 hours
A self-adjusting spring system allows for using the device for adults as well as children. An auto shut-off feature activates 15-20 seconds after a test is done to save battery life.
The device is a bit slower than one might expect.
Adjustable finger chamber, easy-to-read LED display, and two safety standards make the Zacurate 500LD oximeter suitable for any user who needs to track his/her health conditions every single day.
± 2% / ± 2bpm
2 x AAA batteries / up to 30 hours
Nonin Medical 9570-G-EN
Opt for Lifetime Service
The Nonin GO2 fingertip pulse oximeter is exactly what you need if you want to track blood oxygen levels in the comforts of your own home with the maximum amount of precision and convenience. Although this model isn’t the cheapest one represented on the market, it’s definitely worth the money since you hardly want to cut down any expenses when it comes to your health. The Nonin GO2 can help you learn your blood oxygen level as well as heart rate with a margin of error of only 2% or 3 bpm. The device is equipped with a large LCD display so reading the results will be as easy as anything. What we liked about the Nonin GO2 oximeter is that it can be used both by children and adults since the device is capable of handling fingers in a thickness range from 8mm to 26mm. Please note that the device works on one AAA battery that can provide up to 21 hours of working time, which is approximately 2,400 spot checks. One more feature we’d like to point out about the Nonin GO2 pulse oximeter is that it is ISO 9919:2009 compliant. To put it simply, this device corresponds to international safety standards so you can be sure you use safe medical electrical equipment that provides you with the most precise results. You’d also be pleased to find out that this oximeter was designed to resist dropping since it is the most popular cause of damage for these types of devices. Thus, the Nonin GO2 will be able to serve you for a lifetime.
Safety Tips on Using a Finger Pulse Oximeter
Although a portable pulse oximeter seems to be easy to use, you want to follow some tips in order to get precise results. Here are some pieces of advice the manufacturer of the Nonin GO2 gives you:
- Once you put an oximeter on your finger, avoid moving it while making a test. Excessive movement might be interpreted by the device as your pulse;
- If you wear nail polish, especially dark one, it’s better to remove it since it can influence the results of the test;
- Poor blood circulation can also affect the test results so if you have cold hands, try rubbing them together to warm them up;
- The accuracy of the results might be affected if you carry out a test in a close proximity to AM, FM, and TV towers. Even radio stations and cell phones located within 2 metres can affect accuracy. Make sure you conclude your test in a place where the radio signals are minimal.
Using these tips, you’ll always know precise blood oxygen level and heart rate. However, keep in mind that the numbers you see on the screen shouldn't be used as a basis to make decisions regarding your health state on your own. If you notice some changes in these measurements, consult your doctor first.
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iHealth Air Wireless
Keeping Abreast With the New Technologies
iHealth created a truly unique pulse oximeter of superior quality, bringing the technology to a whole new level and introducing it to the world. Its PO3M model isn’t simply an oximeter, it is a Bluetooth pulse oximeter. It means that the device not only measures heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood flow fluctuation but also transfers the measurement data to your smartphone via Bluetooth wireless technology. The beauty of this medical appliance is that it is compatible with the majority of modern smartphones. Thus, you’ll be able to sync your iHealth device with your smartphone if it runs on iOS 8.0+ version or Android 4.0+ operating system. The oxygen saturation measurements obtained are stored and analyzed in the special Pulse Oximeter's software program (for Android and iOS). Moreover, your individual pulse oximetry readings can be transferred to your doctor in a convenient and timely manner. One more feature that adds to the usability of data analysis is an option to save your readings in spreadsheet or PDF formats. And in order to avoid any users potentially misreading the results, the manufacturer has equipped the device with an LED display system.
The device comes with an integrated Li-ion 300mAh battery. So, you can charge your pulse oximeter the same way you charge your smartphone, saving some money on battery replacement. If you're a fan of modern technologies, then this pulse oximeter is just what you need.
There's a chance that you may turn your iHealth device to check your blood oxygen levels and pulse but something will go wrong and the device wouldn't seem to operate properly. If that happens to you, there's no need to take it to a service centre just yet since you can solve some of the troubles on your own. For example, if you don’t see the test results on your LED display, it’s possible that you have inserted the finger incorrectly. If the number on the screen fluctuates, it’s likely that you'd moved your finger or a hand during the test. You can also face some issues trying to see the results on your smartphone. If it happens, check whether the oximeter and your gadget are connected via Bluetooth. Sometimes you may run into the trouble of simply not being able to turn on the device. To solve this problem, try checking the battery – it might be low.
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Meets the Needs of Every User
If you suffer from congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or bronchial asthma, you need to control your blood oxygen levels all the time. Knowing oxygen saturation level is also important if you go in for sports at high altitudes like skiing or hiking. And if you want to get precise results every time you carry out a test, we recommend you to consider the PO30 model from Beurer. This portable pulse oximeter is great to use in the comforts of your own home as well as on the go. It has become possible thanks to the power source of the device and the accessories included in the box. The oximeter works on 2 AAA batteries that can provide up to two years of operation if you use the device three times a day. As for the package, the Beurer PO30 comes with a carrying belt and a storage pouch so it’s convenient to take the device with you. In addition to the ability to use this oximeter wherever you need, you’ll be glad to find out that its colourful display is easy to read under any weather conditions due to the adjustable brightness. Just like most pulse oximeters represented on the modern market, this model is very accurate. The possible margin of error is only 2% for oxygen levels and 2bpm for pulse rate, which isn’t critical when taking the tests on your own. So, whether you’re an athlete who wants to track your pulse rate before and after work-outs or a person who needs to control blood oxygen levels because of your health conditions, choosing the accurate and user-friendly Beurer PO30 seems to be a sensible decision.
How to Use a Pulse Oximeter
All portable pulse oximeters have the same operating principle. The devices are really easy to use and even if you haven’t had such a device before, you likely won’t face any troubles taking a test and reading the results. Before carrying out a test, make sure the batteries are inserted and well-powered. Then, take three simple steps to learn your blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate:
- Insert your finger into a finger opening. Keep in mind that baby’s fingers, fingers with nail polish on, with scars or burn marks, thumbs that don’t fit the finger opening easily will not be able to show proper results. It’s recommended to insert your index finger to carry out a test.
- Once a finger is inserted, don’t move your hand in order to ensure accurate results. Press a function button on the device (as a rule, pulse oximeters are equipped with only one button) and wait.
- Several seconds later, you’ll see the results on a display. They are usually depicted as two numbers. The first one is marked SpO2 and tells you the percentage of blood saturated with oxygen. The second figure stands for heart rate, also known as BPM (beats per minute).
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Are you looking for the best pulse oximeter for home use that would show accurate results, boast exceptional usability, and come at a reasonable price? Well, then you should probably give the MeasurePro OX200 a try. What we liked about this device is that it is FDA approved, which means that this pulse oximeter is not only safe but also effective to use. Unlike most of its rivals (even some of the more expensive ones), this model can handle a wide range of measurements. Thus, it can recognize oxygen saturation levels from 35% to 100% and detect 25-250 bpm heart rates. There’s probably no need to mention that the MeasurePro device is accurate and capable of showing test results with the maximum amount of precision. Besides great functionality of this device, its usability might also come to your liking. Being a portable model, it can be used at home as well as on the road. It’s convenient to take the device with you since it comes with a lanyard and a carry case that simplify its storage and transportation. A rotating display with adjustable brightness levels will allow you to read the results with remarkable convenience. One more thing that adds to the usability of the MeasurePro device is an auto shut-off function. The device will power off 10 seconds after you remove your finger thus saving battery life. Finally, the MeasurePro OX200 costs three times less than its rivals from some of the more renowned brands, so you won’t have to spend a fortune on a device that will allow you to monitor your health conditions.
Take Proper Care of Your Device
Any device in your home, be it a kitchen appliance or a garden tool, should be maintained and stored properly if you want it to serve you reliably for a long time. A pulse oximeter is no exception to this rule. Here are some recommendations the manufacturers of pulse oximeters give on cleaning and maintenance:
- Clean your pulse oximeter once a week if you use it alone or after each use if several people use it. A device should be wiped with a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
- Try to avoid dropping your oximeter since it can easily lead to malfunction.
- Don’t expose your pulse oximeter to water or other liquids because the device could get damaged.
- If your model malfunctions, don’t try to disassemble and repair it on your own. This kind of problem is best left for specialists from an official service centre or representatives of an official distributor.
- Store and use your pulse oximeter under the kind of temperature and humidity suggested by a manufacturer (you’ll find this information in a user’s guide). If your device was stored below 0°C, it’s necessary to let it acclimate to room temperature for some time.
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Zacurate Pro Series CMS 500DL
High Quality at a Reasonable Price
The Zacurate Pro Series CMS 500 DL is all about accuracy, usability, and affordability. Costing less than the majority of its competitors from some of the more renowned brands, this model will meet your requirements whether you need to measure a blood saturation level and heart rate at home or on the go. This kind of application is possible thanks to Zacurate pulse oximeter being a portable type of model. The device is not only compact and lightweight making it easy to take it with you, but it also comes with 2 AAA batteries, a silicone cover, and a lanyard so that its storage and transportation is really convenient. One more thing that adds to the usability of this finger pulse oximeter is its adjustability. What we mean by that is the ability to use the device both on child’s and adult’s fingers. It is possible because the finger chamber features a smart self-adjusting spring system, so whether you need to know your or your kid’s SpO2 and BMP, you’ll always get accurate results. The device also boasts great accuracy with a margin of error of only 2% and 2bmp. All the results are shown on a large LED display, so reading them won't cause any issues at all. Don’t overlook an auto shut-off feature, too. The device turns off 15-20 seconds after you remove your finger from a finger chamber, thus prolonging the battery life. By the way, 2 AAA batteries included in the box provide up to 30 hours of working time. Finally, note that the Zacurate Pro Series CMS 500 DL features CE and FDA standards so choosing this model, you can be sure of its safety.
Reading Results is Easy as One-Two-Three
It has been already mentioned that reading the results is often easy, no matter what pulse oximeter for home use you choose, and the Zacurate Pro Series CMS 500 DL isn’t an exception. Just like all devices of this type, this model measures blood oxygen saturation and heart rate. The results of every test appear on the screen almost immediately. Oxygen saturation is shown under the mark SpO2 while heartbeat can be marked as the symbol of the heart, “PR” (pulse rate), or “bpm” (beats per minute). In some devices, heart rate can also be complemented with a graph. The 500DL model from Zacurate shows you your heart rate under the sign of heart/Min and depicts a bar graph for better comprehension. We’d also like to point out that the results are shown on a black display with red numbers. Thanks to this combination of colours, you’ll see the results at daytime and nighttime equally well. Moreover, the numbers are large enough so even if you have poor eyesight, it won’t be difficult for you to read the results.
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What Is a Pulse Oximeter?
A pulse oximeter is a medical device used by a great number of people who'd like or need to keep track of blood oxygen levels. A few days without food or water won't be good but won't kill whereas lack of oxygen even for a couple of minutes means instant death. Human body needs oxygen all the time to function properly so oxygen saturation should be measured from time to time to know deviation from norm and provide oxygen in due time. Pulse oximeter has been designed exactly for this purpose. Taking oxygen level readings is now possible without blood tests, all you need is this device at hand. Owing to the infrared light, the device can quickly detect oxygen saturation and reflect the readings back on a screen.
You may also be interested in our review on ear thermometers, handy devices to measure temperature quickly and comfortably.
What Features to Compare
If you plan to buy a pulse oximeter, you need to consider some of the key features. Here is everything you need to know about pulse oximeters before making a final decision.
There are two common types of pulse oximeters: stationary and portable. Stationary pulse oximeters are quite bulky and widely used in medical institutions. They give highly accurate results, provide long-term monitoring of patients, and deliver information in a graphical format. Portable pulse oximeters, on the contrary, are the best for home use. They are compact, light in weight, and simple to use with no special skills required.
If you're looking for a pulse oximeter for personal use, you'll usually come across two power sources available - rechargeable or AAA battery. Both batteries allow you to use your oximeter wherever you need, at home or on the go. However, keep in mind that AAA batteries don't need to be recharged from time to time and having an additional pack of batteries at hand will allow you to use your device even if inserted batteries have died.
After making a full set of measurements, the information obtained is shown on a display, thereby, an easily readable display is an added advantage. Besides, the device should quickly run in the measurement state if necessary. Also, you should pay particular attention to the measurement accuracy specified by the manufacturer since it’s very important for medical devices.
Did you know?
Pulse Oximetry is a relatively new field of medicine.
As you might have already guessed, pulse oximetry is a field of medicine that mostly deals with respiratory problems that usually appear because of the lack of oxygen in the blood. However, it’s been only about half a century since medical institutions started to apply professional pulse oximeters to indicate a lack of oxygen saturation. Before the invention of oximeters and development of a scientific way to diagnose respiratory problems due to low oxygen levels, health care professionals couldn’t be 100% sure about the reasons of illness since they could only make conclusions based on visual evidence such as a change in skin colour. Luckily, with the invention of pulse oximeters, not only health care workers but every patient can control blood oxygen levels and be on guard of his/her health.
Why is it difficult to breathe at high altitudes?
High altitudes are characterised by so-called thin air that has less pressure and a lower concentration of oxygen. That’s why if you’ve ever been somewhere in the mountains that are higher than 2,500 metres above the sea level, you could have noticed yourself starting to breathe faster while making shorter inhales. This is a kind of unconscious process that happens in your body since it needs to take more breaths to get more oxygen. What is interesting, even the healthiest people might feel seek while visiting high altitudes. So, if your hobby is climbing the highest mountains in the world, having a portable pulse oximeter at hand is an absolute must. With this device at hand, you’ll always know your blood oxygen level and will be able to tell your instructor if you need a portion of oxygen.
Most People Have Normal Blood Oxygen Levels.
If you’ve read a pulse oximeter review, came at the conclusion that it’s a really useful piece of medical equipment to have at home, and decided to start controlling your oxygen saturation levels right away, think once more. Perhaps, you don’t need to track your oxygen levels at all. The thing is that the majority of people don’t suffer from the lack of oxygen in the blood. If you feel good, don’t have any complaints about your health, have never faced troubles breathing, spending 50-60 pounds on a pulse oximeter might not be a very sensible decision. However, if you’ve noticed some chest pains, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or frequent headaches, it’s time to consult your doctor. If your health care professional confirms that your oxygen levels are lower than they should be, you’ll probably want to consider buying a pulse oximeter for home use.
Q: How does a pulse oximeter work?
A: Pulse oximeters indicate oxygen levels and pulse rate with the help of light. The devices use two kinds of light – red and infrared – to differentiate well-saturated blood cells from those that lack oxygen. The indication of the two types of blood is possible because blood with different oxygen saturation levels has a different colour. And since pulse oximeters are equipped with a photoelectric element, indicating the percentage of well-saturated blood is a simple matter of seconds.
Q: Can a pulse oximeter be worn overnight to track changes in heart rate and oxygen saturation levels? Is it possible to wear it while exercising, for example, jogging?
A: A pulse oximeter is aimed at making spot checks several times a day, so wearing it all the time isn’t acceptable. Moreover, to get accurate results, you shouldn’t move your finger or your hand, and it’s impossible to do when you're busy sleeping or working out. Wearing an oximeter for a long time is also useless since these devices don’t have a memorising option to show you the changes in oxygen saturation levels and heart rate.
Q: Where should a pulse oximeter be placed in order to get accurate results?
A: Pulse oximeter should be placed on those parts of your body that are supplied with blood on the last turn. Perhaps the most obvious and convenient way to use a pulse oximeter is fitting it to one of your fingers. However, it is also possible to find out about your blood oxygen levels and heart rate by attaching a device to your toe or an earlobe.
Q: Why might I need a pulse oximeter if I have no troubles with breathing, heart failures, and other medical conditions?
A: You can’t be sure that you’ll stay healthy your entire life, so learning about changes in your oxygen saturation levels and heart rate can become useful in preventing different illnesses. Healthy people might be interested in learning this information, too. For example, those going in for sports can measure their pulse rate before and after workouts to track their health condition. And if you ski, hike, or do any other sport at high altitudes, knowing your blood oxygen levels is a must since simply staying far above sea level can cause troubles breathing. Why, some people even use pulse oximeters to check their heart rate before and after meditation to find out whether the practice was successful.
Q: What is the best pulse oximeter for nurses? I work in a hospital and need to use a device every day. Should I opt for a professional pulse oximeter or the one for home use will suffice?
A: If you have to measure SpO2 and BPM in your patients every day, you should most likely to opt for a portable model. Portable pulse oximeters are compact and lightweight so it’s easy to use them as a stationary piece of medical equipment as well as take with you. These devices are quite accurate so there’s no need to worry about the results. The only thing you might want to pay close attention to is the safety certificates since you'll probably want to use a safe and medically approved device in a hospital.
Q: Can pulse oximeters be used for children?
A: Yes, the devices are aimed at people aged 3+ so you can check your kid’s health conditions with this device. However, if your child has tiny fingers, they may not reach a photoelectric element so it’s useless to apply a pulse oximeter for infants.
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4. Chloe Borton Pulse Oximetry, Patient. April 2, 2014.
5. Shannon Campbell How to Use a Finger Pulse Oximeter, LIVESTRONG.COM. August 14, 2017.
7. Effects of High Altitude on Humans, Wikipedia. November 17, 2017.
8. COPD and High Altitude, Healthline.
9. Pulse oximetry, NCBI.