Masimo CEO: Apple users are better off without Apple Watch pulse oximetry

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited January 18

Masimo CEO Joe Kiani took advantage of an interview to slam Apple's implementation of pulse oximetry in the Apple Watch, and confirm that there have not been recent settlement talks.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 on its left side, sitting on a cork circle embedded in a piece of wood
Apple Watch Ultra 2



Masimo CEO Joe Kiani hasn't been shy about expressing his feelings about his company's public battle with Apple over pulse oximetry technology. In a new interview, he lashes out at Apple about the company's use of the technology.

"Apple is masquerading what they are offering to consumers as a reliable, medical pulse oximeter, even though it is not," Kiani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday. "I really feel wholeheartedly that consumers are better off without it."

Apple has not sought US Food and Drug Administration approval of the Apple Watch to certify it as a medical device. Kiani notes that on the Apple Watch, there are only two automatic measurements a day, by default, versus continuous monitoring on Masimo's products.

"Pulse oximetry is not useful unless it is a continuous monitor. That happens during sleep," Kiani said after showing Masimo's product on his wrist earlier in the interview. "During sleep, you could have a desaturation that might be related to apnea. You can have a dangerous desaturation to opioid pain relief you might have taken. That is where the value comes."

In the interview, Kiani teased the unreleased Masimo Freedom Watch, which has integral health-tracking sensors. He said he believes that his product can take market share away from Apple, from "people who really care about pulse oximetry."

While in Thursday's interview, Kiani said that there have not been recent licensing discussion, he has previously said that a settlement with Apple is possible. In mid-December he also said that the company hadn't been in touch recently, beyond court-ordered mediation that didn't pan out.

The CEO also claimed at the time that Apple hired more than 20 engineers from the company, sometimes by doubling their salary, to have them work on similar technologies for use in the Apple Watch. Kiani added that the ITC import ban could've been avoided if the Apple Watch and its components were manufactured in the United States like Masimo's are.

Apple has an appeal in process regarding the patent in question that is being leveraged for the import and sales ban. That process and a software update are underway, but it's unclear how long either process will take.

Masimo reportedly seeks up to $3 per Apple Watch as a licensing fee. Apple is also suing Masimo, alleging that the company's W1 watch violates several Apple design patents.

Apple is presently selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models on its website with pulse oximetry disabled. Third parties can still sell existing stock with pulse oximetry enabled until they run out.

Beyond its medical device manufacturing, Masimo also owns the Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Marantz, Polk, Definitive Technology, Classe, Heos, and Boston Acoustics brands.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    If it isn’t certified to be a medical device by the FDA why would anyone want to rely on it?
    williamlondongrandact73
  • Reply 2 of 25
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,088member
    Apple is going to bury his company in an unmarked grave 
    ForumPostibillInspiredCodeh2pwilliamlondonpulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    If he says Apple's does not work then their patent technology does not work since they claim Apple took it. 
    My default yes it runs twice a day on the Apple Watch, but people know if the want to check they can.
    Battery life on an Apple Watch running all day, not going to work.
    Personally I think the CEO is pissed off for the loss of employees and now no fees from Apple, HA HA
    Xedlam92103ForumPostronnradarthekatInspiredCodedamn_its_hotpscooter63teejay2012h2p
  • Reply 4 of 25
    As someone who has had the experience of Apple Watch catching a heart issue (that unless it had I might not be here writing this) and underwent a battery of testing prior to two major surgeries, I can say with total certainty that Kiani is just throwing shade. I’ve had my Ultra on for every blood-ox test and compared my watch’s results against the “medical grade” testing equipment. The watch was SPOT ON.
    Never once was it more than 1% off of the “official” results.
    I do feel for the guy. As our consumer tech gets better and better even high end medical gadgets will, are, getting sherlocked. But seriously: don't poke the bear. 
    lam92103ForumPostStrangeDaysstevenozradarthekatdamn_its_hotpscooter63h2pAnilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 25
    red oak said:
    Apple is going to bury his company in an unmarked grave 
    To hell with proper telemetry, eh?
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 25

    As someone who has had the experience of Apple Watch catching a heart issue (that unless it had I might not be here writing this) and underwent a battery of testing prior to two major surgeries, I can say with total certainty that Kiani is just throwing shade. I’ve had my Ultra on for every blood-ox test and compared my watch’s results against the “medical grade” testing equipment. The watch was SPOT ON.
    Never once was it more than 1% off of the “official” results.
    I do feel for the guy. As our consumer tech gets better and better even high end medical gadgets will, are, getting sherlocked. But seriously: don't poke the bear. 

    You’re not stating anything he’s talking about, though. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 25

    LenardH said:
    If he says Apple's does not work then their patent technology does not work since they claim Apple took it. 
    My default yes it runs twice a day on the Apple Watch, but people know if the want to check they can.
    Battery life on an Apple Watch running all day, not going to work.
    Personally I think the CEO is pissed off for the loss of employees and now no fees from Apple, HA HA

    Apple hasn’t ever paid fees to Masimo. That was the point.  Also, the point of the patent system was to protect small companies like Masimo from pillaging and theft from large corporations like Apple.  
    damn_its_hotmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 25
    XedXed Posts: 2,533member
    LenardH said:
    If he says Apple's does not work then their patent technology does not work since they claim Apple took it. 
    My default yes it runs twice a day on the Apple Watch, but people know if the want to check they can.
    Battery life on an Apple Watch running all day, not going to work.
    Personally I think the CEO is pissed off for the loss of employees and now no fees from Apple, HA HA
    Apple hasn’t ever paid fees to Masimo. That was the point.  Also, the point of the patent system was to protect small companies like Masimo from pillaging and theft from large corporations like Apple. 
    1) Masimo isn't small.
    2) Your comment seems to imply that all larger companies should be railroaded by small companies with mostly invalidated patents. The only thing that kept Masimo's case from completely losing is one and only one juror not siding with Apple causing a hung jury.
    ForumPostStrangeDaysAllMInspiredCodedamn_its_hotpscooter63teejay2012h2pAnilu_777williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 25
    XedXed Posts: 2,533member
    I love the  CEO saying "Apple is using our tech!" and then also saying "Apple's tech sucks!" LOL
    edited January 18 lam92103ForumPostKierkegaardenStrangeDaysAllMInspiredCodedamn_its_hotpscooter63teejay2012h2p
  • Reply 10 of 25
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,008member
    LenardH said:
    If he says Apple's does not work then their patent technology does not work since they claim Apple took it. 

    Exactly - this guy is a bit of an idiot for saying that - either Apple copies it sufficiently that it does was theirs does, or they didn't, and thus it differs significantly enough (not that there aren't other reasons to be argued that infringement isn't applicable, but simply addressing his statement at face value)
    Kierkegaardenwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 25
    ronnronn Posts: 653member
    I see why there's a proxy fight he may wind up losing. He's focused on only hurting Apple, not looking out for the good of Masimo.
    teejay2012williamlondonchaller61watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    AllMAllM Posts: 64member
    Apple users are better off without Masimo, their hitherto unknown CEO, and oximetry gimmicks on their wrists. Covid's over. 

    P.S. One juror disagrees = Masimo bribed their way through?
    edited January 18 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,353member
    Mr Kiani is exactly correct in stating that the diagnosis of a serious medical condition such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea requires the use of medical grade equipment that has been certified (and quite likely calibrated) for detecting the condition in question. But then he goes on to rail against Apple's pulse oximetry implementation and its limitations when, in fact, Apple has never sought to certify or make any specific claims about the use of their pulse oximetry feature for diagnosing the conditions in question. Basically, he's criticizing Apple for not doing something that Apple specifically and officially claims they are not doing, and rightly, should not be doing at the level of their involvement.   

    I do understand Mr Kiani's concerns from the standpoint of defining where devices such as the Apple Watch fall within the larger scope of health care. It's no different than the features in Apple Watch that detect irregular or abnormal heartbeats and heart rates. I have no doubt that many folks who are inside the realm of producing medical grade diagnostic equipment for helping doctors and healthcare professionals diagnose medical conditions have a negative reaction to seeing features in consumer products that may be implicitly seen as being valid medical diagnostic tools by users regardless of the many disclaimers put forth by the device maker. This is a legitimate concern, but it must be put into the broader perspective of individual's participation and awareness of their overall health and wellbeing. 

    People are not like a herd of cows whose health, safety, and wellbeing depends on an individual like a medical specialist or doctor who is responsible for their husbandry. Most people are self aware and are responsible for participating in their own health care to a certain extent. If they don't feel well or notice something is "off," i.e., are exhibiting some kind of symptoms, they can and probably should seek the care of a medical professional. Unfortunately there are a lot of symptoms that can go unnoticed by an individual. For example, someone with obstructive sleep apnea may snore very loudly or stop breathing intermittently when they are sleeping. If there is nobody nearby, like a bedmate, to observe the symptoms the underlying condition may go unnoticed and not acted upon, which can lead to other serious health conditions. If their bedmate observes the symptoms, like obnoxious snoring, they can inform the affected person to look into what may be causing the snoring and bring it up with their primary care physician at their next visit.

    In the example above is the bedmate a medical grade diagnostician? Unless the bedmate is a medical professional the answer is no. The bedmate is simply an observer who happens to observe something the affected person was unable to detect on their own, in this case because they are sleeping. Even if the bedmate observer was a medical professional they would still steer the affected person towards a medical professional who can properly diagnose the affected person's condition using all of the certified tools at their disposal. There's a huge difference between an observer and a diagnostician. The observer merely collects data. Turning data into information and subsequently turning information into action and response via diagnostic procedures requires additional context and appropriate reactive activities, including the application of medical grade measurement and diagnostic equipment and the consultation with other professionals. 

    The Apple Watch is an observer that is capable of capturing, even if on a limited or intermittent basis, health related data that could otherwise go unnoticed by the wearer. No more, no less. The Apple Watch does not elevate the interpretation of the observed data and it most certainly does not attempt to diagnose the underlying condition. As a caring and responsible observer it does steer the wearer towards seeking professional help. When viewing healthcare from a holistic perspective, one that involves personal awareness and participation, and in concert with all of the other formal and professional layers, it's doing exactly what it can do and should do at this point in its evolution. 
    elijahgradarthekatstompydamn_its_hotpscooter63Anilu_777sflagelAllMwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    stevenoz said:
    The one in the AW is a real blood oximeter. Especially compared to that cheap crap you posted. The one you linked has absolutely no FDA evaluation and is in no way whatsoever any better than the AW. There have been numerous professional and amateur independent tests done with the AW oximeter and it is as accurate as any out there, including FDA cleared medical devices.
    Xeddamn_its_hotAnilu_777williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Only measures two times a day by default? That's absolutely not true. Mine measures numerous times during the day and constantly at night and there are no settings to make it measure less during the day. The only settings even available to change the frequency of measurements are two toggles to let you turn it completely off when in Sleep or Theater modes.
    Anilu_777williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    A lot of sour grapes from a company that will no longer exist in 3 years
    AllMwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,836member
    If it isn’t certified to be a medical device by the FDA why would anyone want to rely on it?
    Better than nothing and FDA is also lobby driven like the EU.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,290member
    Meet Tim Sweeney 2.0
    Anilu_777thtwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 25
    ...........
    edited January 19 williamlondonwatto_cobra
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