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Apple is disabling a pointless feature as a remedy for the sales prohibition on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

pple is working on a permanent solution to the ITC judgment that temporarily halted U.S. sales of its Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 models. In a brief legal filing (via 9to5Mac), Apple’s opposition Masimo’s lawyers proposed disabling pulse oximetry features on future models via software, which should have no impact on future buyers.

Even if your Apple Watch has the pulse oximeter capability announced in 2020, you may not realize it. The tool claims to measure your blood oxygen levels, but everyone who’s used Apple’s sensor knows it’s inaccurate and not helpful for health insights.

Pulse oximetry, including consumer blood oxygen monitors (typically ones that clip to your fingertip and can be found in drug stores or medical settings), has been used for a long time and can provide vital, even life-saving, information about your blood oxygen levels. A dangerously low reading indicates a significant problem and the need for quick care. Blood oxygen levels became famous as a crucial sign in COVID patients that required immediate medical attention.

Fairly, Apple has never advertised the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensing functions as a’medical’ tool, but rather as one of its numerous ‘wellness’ features. It’s also possible that by tracking your measures over time for rising or decreasing patterns, you may combine that data with other health indicators to detect a negative health change. Overall, the Apple Watch’s pulse oximetry function is a gilding of the lily that isn’t worth a U.S.-wide device sales restriction or a minor patent-licensing arrangement with Masimo.

Users will have one less graph on their Health app dashboards, but it wasn’t helpful in isolation anyhow, particularly now that the pandemic-fueled interest in blood oxygen levels has largely dissipated. Apple, unlike Samsung, isn’t shy about pulling back things that aren’t popular or beneficial, so this isn’t surprising—except that Masimo pushed it.

We asked Apple for confirmation and will update if applicable.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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