Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Pulse Oximeters in so many regions have seen a huge rise in demand and are getting into the home basics diagnostics category for peoples of the regions. A huge reason behind this is rapid increase in demand due to coronavirus pandemic.
Many experts suggest that a pulse oximeter can be used to detect early coronavirus infection in people, this news led to a panic buying trend of the pulse oximeters and yes rise in prices.
I assume that we all agree that coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we look at our health needs. We can see a rise in the usage and business of IR thermometers, Fitness Trackers, UV Sterilizers, Pulse Oximeter, BP Monitors, etc.
All these medical devices which prior to the pandemic were not part of our household essentials have made their space in our homes.
As we become more health-conscious we will see a rise in more innovation and demand in this product category
Can Pulse Oximeter detect coronavirus?
People have been stress buying pulse oximeter in hopes that it can detect coronavirus, A key symptom of coronavirus is shortness of blood which means that a low SpO2 the level might be indicative of infection, Though not an accurate machine to detect coronavirus, it may help you identify symptoms early
A pulse oximeter measures blood oxygen saturation and heart rate by shining a light through one’s skin and detecting both the color and movement of blood cells. Oxygenated blood cells are bright red, deoxygenated cells are dark red. The pulse oximeter compares the number of bright red cells to dark red cells to calculate oxygen saturation as a percentage. So, for example, a reading of 99% means only 1% of the blood cells in the bloodstream have been depleted of oxygen. According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal pulse oximeter oxygen level reading is between 95% and 100% and anything less than 90% is considered dangerously low, or hypoxic. Covid-19 causes hypoxic condition. A pulse oximeter cannot detect Covid-19. It only detects oxygen level and the pulse rate. Although many doctors report that patients with COVID-19 are presenting with dangerously low blood oxygen levels, COVID-19 isn't the only disease that can cause such a problem. It helps to monitor a patient’s oxygen level to determine if the condition is improving or worsening. Anyone having only a mild infection and not hospitalized, can use the pulse oximeter to monitor their oxygen level.
Another a useful information I find in an article,
Because this SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) CoV2 (aka COVID-19) virus has a unique previously unseen in medicine attribute, they were at first an under-utilized tool.
To explain: as COVID-19 in its primary infection site, the lungs, causes thick -protein materials [platelets, plasma, and assorted white blood cells, mainly neutrophils] to leak into the alveolar air sac spaces, it causes a very rapid hypoxia in the lungs.
This is called the sudden “Silent Hypoxia” of COVID–19. It is largely unnoticed by the patient, (whereas a typical pneumonia with watery secretion would have abundant noticeable coughing spells). ……COVID-19 has a low dry occasional cough instead.
Now to the point of the story: With more frequent use of the little inexpensive pulse oximeter, it can serve as an early warning system of the sudden unnoticed hypoxemia occurring in the circulating bloodstream,
Many medical practitioners and experts suggest not buying one for the sole purpose of detecting coronavirus as it may not work for you.