With my hasty exit from work last July due to a rapid desaturation (loss of oxygen), my SafeHeart iOximeter smart oximeter was a casualty. It was lost. It’s possible if & when I can return to work, I will locate it because last I remember it was in one of my drawers. I kept that one as a back-up to have one in case I needed an emergency read at work & I do remember using it that day to monitor things since I was feeling off.
I liked that oximeter although it wasn’t my first. I liked the fact it ran through the headphone jack instead of the charging port. However, I didn’t like the app that much because while the reads were reliable, trying to figure out to record them or export those results were less than intuitive. Still it was a solid investment. I do see that SafeHeart has a new model out now, called iOX which is designed for both Android & iphone that looks like it might be slightly improved over the older model.
I would recommend this as a first smart oximeter if you want something to try that is reliable & inexpensive, as my version is now $39.99 & the new model is only $49.99, a mere $10 more.
I did test the iOximeter with oxygen & exercise. I remember taking it with me on a charity 3 mile walk & it held up just fine even taking intermittent readings over some hills and inclines and while in motion. I however, never did get the chance to test it on the treadmill.
I wanted to try another new oximeter from another company to replace my lost model with, so I ordered the Kenek Edge. The company, I made the purchase from, Concord Medical, also has a great selection of standard oximeters that are inexpensive if someone is looking to replace their old school one. Had I opted for a more traditional one, I would have opted for the Nonin Go2 Achieve because it’s close to being a smart oximeter, but has the reliability of being the same brand many doctors offices & physical therapy offices use. They also talk about the Masimo Mighty Sat, which I’ll get to in a few minutes.
I primarily purchased the Edge just to have as a backup. I still keep an old school cheapie I’ve had for years around but often forget to change out batteries or leave it somewhere. But with my oxygen levels being wonky, I like having a connected oximeter around in case I get short of breath unexpectedly. The Kenek Edge works fine in this regard.
The Edge is made by Lion’s Gate Medical & of course is just recommended for recreational use (as are most oximeters). (They do have a clinical grade model, called the O2 as well. The comparison is found here.)
I found the first few times I tried it, the probe wasn’t too tight or uncomfortable & the app launched easily enough & read fairly quickly. There was also a record button to actually record the measurements. This can be obtained later by hitting the Green history icon within the app.
This is an iphone only oximeter, but one of the nice things is that it will write to Apple HealthKit. This is primarily why I opted to try it. I use that app for pulling in data from many different devices so being able to integrate the readings from this device helps.
The Kenek Edge came in a small cardboard box, without a pouch. Just included the oximeter & quick start guide. I found a very small cheap cosmetic type pouch works just fine for storing it (these can easily be obtained from dollar store type places or drugstores in the beauty section.) Care & cleaning instructions are also included which is always nice. A full manual can be downloaded from the website for future reference if something can’t be found in the quick start.
I did run a small test to see how it handles motion because I was curious. Sometimes in inclement weather or days with low energy I’ve been doing exercises on the Zova app from my apple TV.
In between some bodyweight exercises (while I was standing) I took a read. It misfired a few times. This was especially prone to happening when I was in motion (even just doing running in place), so I wouldn’t recommend it for taking reads while exercising. I do have one that I do use for exercise & I do love as my main smart oximeter. I’ll get to that one in just a moment.
When testing the Edge against my other oximeters it was accurate. I received very similar readings. Maybe a point difference, if that. For this reason alone as a back-up device it’s solid enough for me to keep around.
I saved the best for last however. I scored an open box steal of a deal on this a few years ago and I was so glad I did snatch it up, as the regular price is quite high. The device I use as my primary oximeter is the Masimo iSp02. I was hoping that after they released the Mighty Sat they’d bring down the price of the iSp02, but to no avail.
Periodically, I run searches & I’ve never seen it listed for the $50 open box steal I obtained at in a post Christmas sale a few years ago. (I’ve seen a few on Ebay for around 80-150, but that’s as cheap as I’ve seen them going for lately.) Though it’s expensive, it’s been worth it.
I love this oximeter not only for it’s reliability but the functionality of the app & how accurate it is. It plugs into the charging port of my phone. The Masimo app takes the reading but also records the history as you go. Then later in options, you can actually email the history to yourself or to a doctor or whomever. It spits out the readings in a spreadsheet format. It also writes to Apple Health Kit.
When I was having serious problems with figuring out the oxygen levels for my exercise activities this was extremely useful. I rarely get an unreliable read & if something is amiss it tells me. The probe is comfortable & hospital grade. Though my version is made for iphone, Masimo does make Android models of both devices. I know they tout the Mighty Sat as the one for exercise, but I think the iSp02 works just as well for it. I love that I can keep this in my running belt with my community center card & always have it on me for exercise when I need it. I also have cleaned it periodically in a similar fashion to how the Edge says to clean their device, but I’ve never had a problem with it.
The probe is actually almost identical to the ones they use in hospitals so it’s extremely durable & is not at all bothered by motion. When I tested this one against my old fashioned older oximeter it was the exact same reading. So again, highly accurate in comparison to most devices.
I have a picture here of both devices so you can see them up close. I unfortunately don’t have a picture of my old SafeHeart iOximeter to compare. I will say out of the 3 that the SafeHeart iOximeter was probably the smallest & lowest profile if that’s an important consideration for anyone.
I’m sure the Mighty Sat is awesome, I just think it’s unaffordable for most people, including me (as the highest end model is $399, but the low-end is $249). Even the iSp02 would be too much of a financial stretch for me at the regular advertised price.
Overall, Safe Heart makes good basic entry level connected oximeters that aren’t terribly expensive or uncomfortable. They work in a variety of conditions. I just wish their app was as robust & friendly to navigate as the Masimo app.
I know iHealth makes a wireless oximeter, but the reviews were mixed when it first came out. It was also priced a little higher than the Safe Heart models then. They might be a good option for some people if they’re looking for another iphone only option.
(DISCLAIMER: I was not paid by these companies or sent free devices. I ordered them on my own from various online medical supply vendors or directly from the companies involved. I thought doing a comparison might be a useful way to share information with others who might be interested or needing such a device for their own personal health issues. This analysis in no way constitutes medical advice or product endorsement. I try to keep the devices I select for personal use, profiling, & reviewing in an affordable price range. Often $50 or less where possible. If they are more expensive I make that clear & try to point out their practicality & uniqueness in assisting me with my personal health tracking.)
UPDATE: 3/29/16 – I’ll be back on the hunt for a back up my Edge just took an abnormally low reading after 6 tries – needless to say I won’t recommend anyone use that particular oximeter anymore.
Update 5/5/16: I replaced the Edge with a ihealth branded oximeter since it integrates into the same app I use for my blood pressure kit.
I will review this device at a later juncture but I have been using it for bedtime reads & tried it for exercise yesterday & it’s surprisingly accurate & easier I think than a standard pulse oximeter. I was pleasantly surprised as most reviews were mixed. I did reduce the cost by purchasing mine off of ebay.