Pulse oximeters did not change outcomes for patients in COVID-19 monitoring program

Using a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels is no better than just regularly asking patients with COVID-19 if they are short of breath, according to new research at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Pulse oximeters have often been applied because of concerns that patients might not notice their blood oxygen levels sliding dangerously. But people in Penn Medicine's COVID Watch program—which uses automated text messages to keep tabs on patients recovering at home—had the same outcomes whether they used oxygen-measuring devices or not. Findings from this work were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Using a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels is no better than just regularly asking patients with COVID-19 if they are short of breath, according to new research at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Pulse oximeters have often been applied because of concerns that patients might not notice their blood oxygen levels sliding dangerously. But people in Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch program—which uses automated text messages to keep tabs on patients recovering at home—had the same outcomes whether they used oxygen-measuring devices or not. Findings from this work were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.