SleepTuner as a COVID Monitor
Pulse Oximetry is useful for monitoring symptoms and identifying problems early during COVID
There remains a tremendous amount of unknown medical information regarding the coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 infection. But one thing seems to be clear from the experience to date: oximetry can help provide key data early in infection, sometimes before symptoms even show up. (For more about what pulse oximetry is, check out this blog post.)
Public health experts have been considering when to recommend home monitoring with a pulse oximeter during COVID-19. Increasingly, doctors are recommending that their patients get an oximeter to help monitor for infection, and help determine severity of illness. This was accelerated by a widely read opinion piece by Dr. Richard Levitan published in the New York Times on April 20, 2020. [link]
In New York City, one of the hardest hit areas during this crisis, the two key parameters physicians look to to determine the course of care are temperature and oxygen saturation. Now, there is more data coming out in support of oximetry as an early indicator of disease state. One recent study of 4,000 COVID-19 patients at one NYC hospital found that a patient’s oxygen saturation upon arrival at the hospital was one of the strongest predictors of how critical their illness was.
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Thoughtful cautions about home-use of oximeters
There are two main concerns with any home monitoring of medical conditions. One is excessive worry without justification. The other is complacency in the face of potential medical danger. Any pulse oximeter can be used improperly and could give a faulty reading. If a very low reading is found, you can test the device on a healthy person to check if it is working correctly before discussing the readings with your doctor. And if you receive a normal reading, but don’t feel well, you should pay attention to your symptoms and notify your doctor. You should definitely contact a doctor anytime you experience: severe shortness of breath, a high fever, confusion or any other concerning symptom. The main benefit of measuring your oxygen saturation at home is that it might identify a problem with your respiratory health earlier than you feel it.
Sleep and Pulse Oximetry
It can be difficult to monitor oxygen saturation overnight. Beddr’s SleepTuner is an FDA registered device focused on measuring multiple aspects of sleep including oxygen saturation. The SleepTuner can be synced each morning to determine not only key sleep measures but the number of stopped breathing events (that is, when oxygen saturation is low). Read more information about the SleepTuner and how it works. If you’re interested in using the SleepTuner for tracking your oxygen saturation and have been diagnosed with Covid-19, please discuss the best way to do so with your medical team.