Garmin patent revealed with aim of improving SpO2 monitoring in smartwatches
Advnture has discovered a new patent publication by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), originally filed by Garmin in 2020. Published by the USPTO on May 12, the patent describes 'three-wavelength pulse oximetry', which Garmin outlines in document ID US 20220142569. In short, Garmin has patented a new solution for measuring blood oxygen levels, also known as SpO2.
As the name suggests, Garmin's patent uses three light wavelengths to determine SpO2 levels, rather than the typical two that conventional SpO2 sensors use. According to the patent, Garmin's sensor has an infrared LED for measuring the 940 nm wavelength, plus two red LEDs that cover the 630 nm and 660 nm wavelengths. From there, a potential smartwatch would take two measurements simultaneously, one per red LED, and would interpret SpO2 levels with an in-house algorithm.
Apparently, this method would allow Garmin smartwatches to look for matching values, theoretically improving the accuracy of SpO2 level monitoring. Additionally, major discrepancies would result in the smartwatch taking more readings until it receives matching values. While TechRadar notes the 18-month lead time in the USPTO's publication implies that Garmin could be preparing to mass-produce the patented design, there have been no hints that is the case yet. For reference, Garmin is rumoured to be releasing the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 series next month, having already introduced several smartwatches this year.