Apple unveils watch that monitors blood oxygen

Apple unveils watch that monitors blood oxygen

Apple Inc on Tuesday introduced a new Apple Watch that monitors blood oxygen, kicking off a fall product line-up for a holiday shopping season that will be unlike any other due to Covid-19.

Apple was expected to update several products including iPads and headphones at an event on Tuesday broadcast from its Cupertino, California, headquarters. Its biggest seller - the iPhone - is expected to be announced next month after executives have said its launch will be delayed by several weeks because of pandemic-related disruptions.

Apple shares have soared this year even as the virus has crippled economies around the world, thanks in large part to booming sales of work-from-home items.

Apple shares were up 2 per cent on Tuesday after climbing more than 50 per cent for the year, well ahead of the 23 per cent gain for the Nasdaq. Even though Apple stock has fallen from a record high earlier this month, it remains near its $2 trillion (Dh7.35 trillion) stock market valuation.

How the new products sell during the holiday shopping season in many markets will largely define how well Apple performs for its entire fiscal year, which started this month.

Apple said the watch's new ability to monitor blood oxygen using infrared light should be used for fitness and wellness purposes.

Doctors in India and other countries have used pulse oximeters to remotely check on Covid-19 patients and ensure their oxygen saturation level does not fall too low.

A level between 95 per cent and 97 per cent is considered normal by the American Lung Association. Patients below 95 per cent should call their doctor and those under 90 per cent should go to the emergency room, health experts advise.

Low oxygen levels are usually not the sole indicator of having Covid-19, the association said.