Review of the Wellue O2Ring: an easy way to monitor your SpO2 with the precision that meets medical standards

Wellue O2 Ring

7.9/10

DESIGN

8.0/10

EASE OF USE

8.0/10

USE OF INFORMATION

8.5/10

VALUE FOR MONEY

7.0/10

PROS

  • Functions effectively with a high sampling rate.
  • Medical grade data, FDA authorized
  • Feels premium made
  • The PC and Mac program allows you to set up notifications for blood oxygen and heart rate (optional)

CONS

  • Because of its size, wearing it outside is not really advisable.
  • Pricey
  • The lifespan of the battery is not very lengthy.

A growing number of businesses are focusing their attention on the area of wearable technology that lies beyond the wrist. Only a small percentage of individuals are aware that a person’s finger can provide a meaningful overview of their general health. This is due to the fact that it contains arteries that may be sensed by finger-worn devices to collect physiological data such as a person’s heart rate and the amount of oxygen in their blood.

Rings that are thin and sophisticated are currently experiencing a surge in popularity. Particularly among those individuals who are looking for something that is not only lightweight but also trendy. The major companies like Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin have not yet established a presence in this market. However, a few more players have unique products or services to offer.

Wellue is one of these options. Their O2Ring, registered with the FDA, provides clinical-grade accuracy in monitoring your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), heart rate, and movement. Slide it onto your thumb or index finger, and it will take care of everything else. You can view the device’s data in real time, or you can synchronize the ring with the accompanying app or the PC or Mac program for more in-depth research and reporting on trends.

The O2Ring costs more than a regular fingertip blood oxygen monitor, which typically retails for $169 on getwellue.com (you can get a 10% discount by using the coupon code GW10 on their website). Does it justify paying the higher price? Over the course of the past week, I made it my mission to find out.

A look at the Wellue O2Ring’s construction and design

  • Feels robustly made – rubberized design
  • More concerned with practicality than with appearances
  • Display that is both large and simple to read
  • 12–16 days on a single battery charge

Look & feel

The Wellue O2ring is not a ring in the traditional sense, despite the fact that its name refers to it as such. The component that makes up the device is pliable silicone with a rubbery texture. Because it is larger than a regular ring, the emphasis here is on functionality rather than aesthetics. However, compared to the fingertip blood oxygen monitors it is intended to replace, this one is considerably less bulky and more compact.

The device weighs 15 grams and has dimensions of 4 centimeters in length, 3 centimeters in width, and 3.5 centimeters in height. It can accommodate fingers with measurements ranging from 50 to 82 millimeters. Because the band is made of rubber, it can expand to accommodate those who have very large fingers.

Even though it lacks elegance, the whole thing has the impression of being well constructed. A sizable screen occupies the topmost position, and due to its magnitude, the text displayed on it is simple to read.

You may bring the screen back to life and navigate between the time, heart rate, and oxygen level data by using the touch key that is located on one side of the display. There is no power button on this device. As soon as you put on the ring, it will activate the sensor, and the display will begin to light up and respond to your touch. After a few seconds have passed after you have removed the ring, it will turn off automatically. This was quite convenient because most of my other devices need to be powered on and off. Additionally, the touch key has a great deal of responsiveness.

You should wear the O2Ring on the middle finger of your thumb. If you find it too constricting, you might try using your index finger instead. Because it does not get in the way of anything, I think the band method is far more pleasant than the alternatives that involve using fingertip techniques. While wearing the ring, you can continue to type and perform virtually any other activity.

In order to give it a thorough examination, I wore the Wellue O2Ring while I was sleeping for a full seven days straight. It remained in place through all of the usual tossings and turning, and I never had the impression that it was going to fall off. Because the device has rounded corners, it will not catch on the bed sheets or pillows when it is placed on them. In fact, the ring is so cozy that when I wake up in the morning, I often forget that it is even on my finger.

The only aspect of the design about which I have some reservations is the bendable tip that is located at the very end of the silicon band. It appears to be somewhat fragile. Long-term use may eventually cause it to fail, but I cannot say for certain that it will.

In contrast to other smart rings, this one is designed primarily for use within the confines of a person’s own home or within a medical setting. Because of its cumbersome design, the O2Ring is something that you definitely wouldn’t want to wear in natural settings, even if you didn’t have to. If you really wanted to, you could. However, readings of blood oxygen are most accurate when they are obtained when the subject is at rest or asleep. Thus it would be pointless to take measures under those circumstances.

According to Wellue, the device is made to give readings that are accurate enough for medical use whether you are sleeping, when you are sitting somewhere, or when you are walking slowly. Professional aviators make up a subset of their customer base. When they are flying planes, they utilize the O2Ring to keep track of the oxygen level in their blood.

The device has been given a grade of IP24 for its resistance to dust and water. Therefore, you should not wash with it or take a bath while wearing it; nevertheless, it is generally OK to wear it while it is raining.

The engine compartment

Transmissive oximetry is the name of the technique that Wellue O2ring utilizes in its operations. This is relied on and used in medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics. Reflective technology, which is used in smartwatches, is not considered to be very accurate.

In transmissive oximetry, a device directs two wavelengths of light toward a photodetector after passing those wavelengths through a narrow section of the body. After that, it measures how much the absorbance is changing at each of the different wavelengths. Because fingertip blood flow rates are higher than those of other tissues, they are the ideal location for doing such measurements. Because of this, both the O2Ring and classic clip-on fingertip oximeters provide accurate readings.

Because it has its own internal memory, the O2Ring can function properly even when not connected to a phone. There are four mini memory cards already installed. Each has the capacity to store roughly 10 hours’ worth of data.

This indicates that you will need to sync with the application on a regular basis. If you keep a sleep log each night, you will have to start using the app after four or five nights to analyze the data. If you don’t, the memory will fill up, and the recording that is the most recent will be destroyed. When connected to the smartphone app or computer software via Bluetooth 4.0, a sync is performed without the need for user intervention.

The sample rate is the primary factor that sets the O2Ring apart from similar devices, in addition to its high level of accuracy. Data on the subject’s oxygen levels, pulse rate, and mobility are recorded at intervals of one second. The increased sample rate will be critical for those suffering from medical disorders such as sleep apnea.

Battery capacity

The oxygen ring is said to have a running time of between 12 and 16 hours on a single charge, which is an essential consideration when it comes to battery life. According to Wellue, this is sufficient for two nights. In actual use, however, I discovered that the ideal time to charge it was in the morning after a full night’s sleep. I usually sleep for at least eight hours per night, so even if I stretched it out to two nights, it wouldn’t be enough for me.

The device utilizes a micro-USB cable for charging purposes. Because the display does not include a progress bar or a percentage of charge, so you will be required to keep the device powered on until the display shuts off. It could take more than an hour to go from empty to full, so we can’t really call it a speedy process.

The battery housed within the Wellue O2Ring is comparable to that of a coin cell used in watches. Therefore, if it were necessary, you could conceivably replace it yourself or hire a maintenance specialist to do it for you. On the other hand, the battery should remain functional for a few years, so it is probably not necessary.

A Look at the Functionality of the Wellue O2Ring

  • Clinical-grade data, FDA registered for accuracy
  • Optional software for PCs and Macs, as well as mobile apps
  • Warnings for an abnormal SpO2 and heart rate
  • Provide the doctor with high-resolution oximetry reports that you have exported.

Configuration and initial use

In my opinion, one of the best features of this product is how straightforward it is, both in terms of its installation and its day-to-day operation. To get started, make sure you have the ViHealth app downloaded on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Launch it, and then register for an account.

The O2Ring may be turned on by inserting your finger into it or by plugging it into the charger. Once it is activated, the app will locate it and ask if you would want to pair it. You only need to click on the image of the ring to complete the transaction. After that point, it will automatically connect when the ring is turned on and the app is open, provided both are there. When the ring is not connected to your device, you can also use the app in offline mode to review the data.

At this point, you may want to adjust a few of the available settings. Navigate to the “Settings” section of the app. Here, you will find the option to connect the app with Apple Health and the controls for activating the alarms for your oxygenation and heart rate. You will also have the ability to specify the high and low criteria for each after doing this.

If the wearer is getting close to the limitations that have been set, the O2Ring will begin to vibrate to inform them. The purpose of this is to monitor your heart and alert you to any anomalies or hypoxic episodes so that you may take a break and get some much-needed rest. For this reason, for instance, if your oxygen level drops below the configured threshold while you are sleeping, the vibration will wake you up so that you can modify the posture in which you are sleeping.

Cheap oxygen monitors do not have this capability, which is unfortunate for people who suffer from sleep apnea and could benefit from it. When compared to similar devices, the Wellue O2Ring’s the higher price point is therefore justifiable on the basis of this function alone.

The subtle vibrations aid both you and your companion in getting a better night’s rest. Imagine a smartphone that vibrates when you hold it. This kind of thing works really well in crowded and noisy settings. Please be aware that the ring does not come equipped with its own speaker. However, if you prefer audible alarms, the mobile app may provide those for you to choose from. You can even utilize both the vibration alarm on the ring, which is attached to the watch and the sound alarm on the phone, which is attached to the phone.

However, I cannot shake the feeling that there was a lost opportunity here that could have been remedied with a software patch. Considering that the O2Ring already includes a clock and the ability to receive vibrations, it would be convenient if it could also serve as a wake-up alarm in the morning.

The mobile application has a wealth of useful information

Readings of your heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real time can be obtained directly from the ring itself. After you have fastened the gadget to your body, it will immediately begin to take your measurements and will continue to do so for around one minute before turning off its display so that you can go to sleep. Simple as can be. The dashboard of the application also provides access to the data in real time for viewing.

The Perfusion Index (PI) was one of the features that caught my attention. It is a quantification of the quality of the pulse reading, and it functions similarly to an indicator of the strength of a mobile phone signal. This can vary depending on a wide variety of circumstances like how the ring is worn, the wearer’s physiological parameters, the temperature of their skin, and many more. You can use it to determine if you are wearing the gadget appropriately so that you can make any necessary adjustments. As long as the PI indicator remains green, you should be fine.

When you remove the ring in the morning, the display will momentarily turn on and begin a countdown from 10 to 0. It will then display the words “SAVING” and “END” before turning off again. After that, you are free to power on your phone, launch the application, and give it permission to sync.

Measurements of blood oxygen appear to be accurate when contrasted with those obtained using a conventional oximeter. Given that Wellue has received approval from the FDA for the device in question, this is to be anticipated. The measurements for Plus are taken every second, and the app displays them in intervals of every four seconds. This app is significantly more useful than Apple Health, which only displays SpO2 data at 10-minute intervals.

The “History” page of the app provides you with a chronological overview of all of your previous measurements. The fact that the session is saved as a new one whenever the ring is removed was one of the things I didn’t like about it. If you take the ring off in the middle of the night and then put it back on, this will create two separate data sets. Because of this, it has the potential to become somewhat chaotic.

The data presented in each individual session is extensive. A convenient O2 score bar calculates how much oxygen your body lacks while you are sleeping. It takes into account the frequency, duration, and magnitude of oxygen decreases. In my particular circumstance, my average score was between 9.8 and 9.9, which is considered to be outstanding. If the score moves into the yellow or red range, Wellue recommends that you consult your primary care physician for guidance. To make things simpler for you, the O2Ring is capable of generating a SpO2 report in PDF format, which you may then send to your physician through email.

Other data reveal information such as your average heart rate throughout the session, your average SpO2, the number of times your SpO2 dropped by more than 4 percent, and your lowest SpO2. All of this is quite helpful information that, in terms of blood oxygen, goes into greater detail than any other device I’ve encountered. There is currently no product on the market that will let you generate high-resolution oximetry data at intervals of four seconds, and these results will not be able to be shared with the click of a button.

Additionally, there is a PC app and a MAC app that you have the option of using

A further feature that appealed to me was the availability of the O2 Insight Pro program for either a personal computer or a mac. You can get it directly from the Wellue website by downloading it.

Everything functions precisely the same as it does on the mobile app for smartphones, but everything is displayed on the larger screen in a format that is simpler to understand. You won’t have trouble dissecting the hourly graphs in depth because the report is similar to a genuine sleep research report.

The bottom line in our study of the Wellue O2Ring: Is it worth the money

The Wellue O2Ring is an extremely practical piece of equipment. However, not everybody should do it. People who have sleep apnea or another medical condition or who fear they may have one of these conditions are the primary target audience for the device, as it was developed specifically for those who need to monitor their oxygen levels in great detail. If you recently tested positive for Covid-19, this ring could provide you with much-needed relief and reassurance.

The device primarily focuses on doing one thing, but it does that one thing very well: it monitors your blood oxygen levels at intervals of one second. It has an accuracy level suitable for medical use. You will also receive information regarding your heart rate and the movement of your body. The device will also sound an alarm and bring you to full attention if your oxygen levels are dangerously low or your heart rate is erratic. It has the potential to be a savior for people who struggle with various sleep disorders. If you move, you can get rid of that annoying buzzing sound.

Because of its size, the ring is not something that you would want to wear constantly because it is fairly substantial. However, it is particularly handy for measures that take place at home, in the office, or overnight. In addition to being nicely manufactured, the item is also very pleasant to wear; in my case, I wear it on my thumb.

If all you need are impromptu readings of your heart rate and blood oxygen level, the O2Ring is overpriced at its typical retail price of $169 on the website getwellue.com. A standard pulse oximeter that can be worn on the fingertip is a significantly more affordable alternative. However, if you need overnight monitoring with alerts and tracking over a longer period of time, then it is most likely the greatest choice that is now available. It’s possible that this will become the most significant piece of jewelry that some people own.

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