How to Use Your iHealth® Pulse Oximeter

This information explains your iHealth pulse oximeter and how to use it.

The iHealth pulse oximeter is a device you place on your finger. It measures your blood oxygen level (how much oxygen is in your blood) and pulse rate (how fast your heart is beating). These measurements show how well oxygen is getting to different areas of your body.

Your healthcare provider may give you instructions for how often to use your iHealth pulse oximeter. If they do, follow their instructions. If they don’t give you instructions, use your iHealth pulse oximeter 2 times every day:

  • One time between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm
  • Another time between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

The iHealth pulse oximeter records your results in your iHealth account. If you linked your iHealth account to your MyMSK (MSK patient portal) account, it will automatically send your results to your MSK healthcare provider. This will help them keep track of your blood oxygen level and pulse rate and make decisions about your care while you’re at home. For instructions for linking your iHealth account to your MyMSK account, read the resource How to Set Up Your iHealth® Pulse Oximeter.

Your healthcare provider may tell you to call MSK’s COVID-19 Management Program if your blood oxygen level is less than a certain number. Always call the COVID-19 Management Program if your blood oxygen level is less than 92%.

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How to Use Your iHealth Pulse Oximeter

Follow these steps to use your iHealth pulse oximeter. If you can’t or don’t want to use the iHealth MyVitals app, that’s OK. You can still use the iHealth pulse oximeter, but your results won’t be automatically recorded or sent to your healthcare provider. Follow steps 3 and 4 below.

  1. Open the iHealth MyVitals app. Click on the app on your smart device (see Figure 1).
    Figure 1.

    Figure 1. The iHealth MyVitals app

  2. If you’ve been logged off, log back in using the email and password you used when creating the account (see Figure 2).
    Figure 2. The app login screen

    Figure 2. The app login screen

  3. Clip the pulse oximeter on your finger. Pinch one end of the pulse oximeter so the other end opens slightly. Hold your hand so your palm faces toward you. Then, clip the pulse oximeter onto your index (pointer), middle, or ring finger with the display side facing toward you (see Figure 3). Make sure your finger is clean and you aren’t wearing nail polish or fake nails.
    Figure 3. Clip the pulse oximeter on your finger

    Figure 3. Clip the pulse oximeter on your finger

  4. Start measuring. Press the button on the pulse oximeter to start measuring. It will show your blood oxygen level (SpO2%) and pulse rate (PRbpm) on the display. Keep your hand still while it’s measuring.

    If you aren’t using the iHealth MyVitals app, write down your blood oxygen level, the date, and the time. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for telling them your results.
  5. Check the iHealth MyVitals app. Make sure your measurements are showing on the iHealth MyVitals app in real time (see Figure 4). The app will also show your perfusion index (PI), but this measurement won’t be sent to your healthcare provider. If no measurements appear on the app, try moving the pulse oximeter to a different finger.
    Figure 4. Real-time measurements in the app

    Figure 4. Real-time measurements in the app

  6. Unclip the device. Once your real-time measurements appear on the app, you can unclip the pulse oximeter from your finger. It will automatically turn off after you unclip it.
  7. Review your results. A summary of your results will show up on the pulse oximeter and iHealth MyVitals app (see Figure 5). Your results will automatically be sent to your MSK healthcare provider. Call MSK’s COVID-19 Management Program at 914-367-7940 right away if:
    • Your blood oxygen level is less than the number your healthcare provider told you to look out for.
    • Your blood oxygen level is less than 92%.
    Figure 5. Summary of results in the app

    Figure 5. Summary of results in the app

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Contact Information

Call MSK’s COVID-19 Management Program at 914-367-7940 right away if:

  • Your blood oxygen level is less than the number your healthcare provider told you to look out for.
  • Your blood oxygen level is less than 92%.
  • You have trouble breathing when you’re resting.
  • You have trouble breathing when you walk short distances. An example of a short distance is walking from one room to another, about 25 feet (7.6 meters).
  • You’re getting chemotherapy and have a new fever of 100.4 °F (38 °C) or higher.
  • You have a fever of 102 °F (38.9 °C) or higher that lasts for 24 hours and doesn’t get better after you take acetaminophen (Tylenol®).
  • You have blood in your sputum (mucus that you cough up).
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have a very bad headache.

If you need help with the iHealth MyVitals app, call the MyMSK portal help desk at 646-227-2593 or email mymsk@mskcc.org.

If you need help with your iHealth pulse oximeter device, call the COVID-19 Management Program at 914-367-7940.

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