Fact Check: Free App as Oximeter in Your Phone

A viral WhatsApp message has been doing rounds asking people to click on a link to download a free app from Google Play store, that works as Oximeter and monitors blood oxygen levels using phone camera. Unknowingly many WhatsApp users have compromised their data, while downloading the app, as there is no such proven app to count one’s oxygen level.

The Viral Message

We at News Sense received the information from our readers with request to verify the claim. On investigation we found that the fake app has been removed by Google, but the risk of cyber fraud remains. So we continued our investigation and found that there do exist some wellness devices like Garmin and Fitbit smartwatches, which has in built pulse oximeter, but are expensive and their accuracy is also not always correct.

Further, we found several research on such oximeters. Most of the research shows that these apps are inaccurate and could give a false sense of security to people. Moreover, on technical aspect, unlike conventional pulse oximeters that use red and infrared light wavelengths, smartphones usually only have white light, so are bound to give in accurate readings.

A recent study by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford University, found that in the context of the current pandemic, these apps are not fit to be used clinically as oximeters. Another study published in the year 2019 in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that three iPhone apps with pulse oximetry function are there but are unreliable in their readings.

Thus verifying all the above mention angles and proven research we have come to conclusion that the claim of smart phone application as oximeter is a fake one and is advisable not to use such devices compromising your data and cyber security.

Claim: Free App as Oximeter on Smartphones

Conclusion: No such App that functions as Oximeter on Smartphones.

NB: Don’t share or forward any misleading information on your social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, by doing so you are also becoming someone, who is creating panic and confusion among the larger mass and this is a punishable offense.