Fitbit's blood oxygen monitoring feature is here, but what about Apple Watch?

Fitbit has reportedly activated the blood oxygen monitoring feature on its Versa, Ionic and Charge 3 wearables.

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Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Fitbit has finally activated its blood oxygen monitoring feature on its Versa , Versa Lite , Versa 2 Ionic and Charge 3 wearables, after years of waiting, the company confirmed to CNET on Wednesday. While Apple still holds the largest smart watch market share, Fitbit (which Google has agreed to buy, in a deal expected to close this year) beat it to the punch with the release of the blood oxygen monitoring function. 

Fitbit users in the US on Wednesday started seeing blood oxygen saturation data appear in the app, Tizenhelp first reported. Sensors on the back of the devices give users an estimate of the variability of oxygen levels in their bloodstream. This information is useful for detecting variations in breathing while you sleep, which could indicate sleep apnea

Apple holds patents for blood oxygen monitoring, but has yet to activate the feature in any devices. Back in 2018, Garmin introduced Pulse Ox with its Vivosmart 4 activity tracker, allowing users to gauge their blood oxygen saturation levels on the spot, or periodically as they sleep. 

French health tech company Withings recently unveiled its new ScanWatch, which also has similar monitoring capabilities. However, it is still undergoing FDA clearance, and the company has yet to announce when the watch will be available to purchase. 

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment. 

Read more: Apple Watch Series 5 vs. Fitbit Versa 2

Originally published Jan. 15, 11:29 a.m. PT.
Updates, 12:40 p.m.: Adds information from Fitbit; Jan. 16: Adds information from Garmin. 

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