This thing is GREAT. 82 dollars (get it HERE on Amazon), it displays and records your oxygen level and your pulse. My friend Steve calls it the “Un-fit Bit”, as in a FitBit for me to measure my poor health. lol. (And it’s more accurate than FitBits recently were alleged to be.)
The menu button (which is the only button) on the unit is not intuitive, and the Chinglish manual is hard to follow. Basically you hold the button down to access the menu, then press it once to move from each item to the next. You can only move down, not up, you have to go all the way around if you miss your item. Then hold the button down to select, then follow prompts.
You have to enable recording to record and disable recording to stop. And while recording, the unit does not display for very long. You have to choose between seeing the display and recording. But you’d likely be recording while sleeping, so not want the display on anyway. When recording, if you press the menu button, the display will come on for a moment too, then turn off. The unit will continue recording while it turns on.
You can only record one session at a time (up to 24 hours of data), but once you download and delete it, you can record another.
You can set the time in the menu (though it sets when you connect to SleepyHead, more on that below). You can set the brightness of the display also.
In the menu you can also enable sounds. They are disabled by default, and I like them that way. I don’t want an alarm waking me up if my O2 dips below 90 for a moment. I’d never get any sleep. But you may want to enable them. You can also set the low limit that determines when the alarm goes off. And you can enable a beep with each heartbeat, which is VERY annoying.
Unless you have a burning desire to hear constant noises, I’d recommend leaving the sounds off.
You charge the built-in battery in the unit, and also upload data to a computer, by connecting the included USB cord. (The unit must be on, and should not be recording, to import).
The unit is fully charged when the light on the side by the USB port turns from orange to green. There is also a USB charger that plugs into a wall if you want to leave your computer off while charging.
The oxygen percent is the big number. (95 is good, below 90 is bad.) Pulse is displayed as a smaller number to the right of the oxygen number. The pulse is also displayed as a pulsing bar on the right, and as a waveform below. The height of the waveform corresponds to the strength of the heartbeat.
When actually wearing the unit, connect the other USB device, the finger probe. The side with the light (where the wire comes out) goes on the fingernail side of your finger. Middle finger or index finger is best. Do not use on a hand receiving an IV of any kind, or using a blood pressure cuff or other medical gear. Both will reduce the accuracy. So can very bright lights directly on the probe.
Do not tape the probe to your finger. You won’t need to, it should stay on all day or night without tape. If it falls off, just put it back on.
Sometimes if you are moving and the cord connecting the finger unit gets moved, the unit will stop displaying for a moment, and will then sometimes display and/or record wildly inaccurate readings. These last only seconds, and can be ignored. The unit will quickly “catch up” and start displaying or recording accurate readings pretty quickly.
The included Windows-only software sucks, download the free SleepyHead instead.
USING FREE SOFTWARE SLEEPYHEAD TO IMPORT AND READ DATA
SleepyHead was made by my friend Mark for interpreting and displaying CPAP machine data, but also has an Oxymiter import function. Get SleepyHead for Windows, Mac or Linux free here, (NOT on apnea board, that’s a pirate version that isn’t reliable).
Ignore the “Sleepyhead has shut down” notice. SleepyHead is not being devolved anymore, but works great.
Read my review of Sleepyhead here.
The device you’re importing from must be ON when importing.
And you must use the USB cable that came with your device, not a third-part one. The one that comes with the device has a “choke” that removes radio and electromagnetic interference that can prevent downloading of data:
NOTE: If, when importing, during “Scanning for compatible oximeters” it fails with the message “Could not detect any connected oximeter devices.”, you need to add the USB-to-UART driver first. (older versions are here.) Pick the correct computer operating system (later versions of Windows are way down that page.)
In SleepyHead, pick “Oxymitry Wizard”,
Then pick the top choice from the drop-down menu (CMS50Fv3.7+/H/I, Pulox PO-400/500), tick “Erase Session after Successful Upload”, and click “Import directly from a recording on a device.”
Now you’re finished. Click “Statistics” to read imported stats:
Scroll down to Oxymiter Stats:
Click “Daily” to see the info in time-delimited X-Y axis graphs:
If you hold down your left mouse button and drag the mouse over a section of the graph, you can expand the view for more detailed micro analysis:
—Michael W. Dean