Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will no longer include the pulse oximeter feature. This follows a decision from the International Trade Commission, which granted an exclusionary order preventing U.S. Customs from allowing import of the watches, based on infringement of patents to pulse oximetry sensor arrangement and lens technology of Masimo.
After the ITC judgment precluding importing of the Apple Watches, the Apple appealed the decision to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit denied immediately lifting the exclusionary order, keeping the import prohibition in tact, but will evaluate the case over the next year and make a final determination as to whether the ban is proper. Such a decision will take time, and in the meantime, Apple will not be able to import Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches with the pulse oximetry feature.
As a workaround, Apple has disabled the pulse ox feature from the affected watches. Apparently, the software has been disabled and the technology for pulse oximetry doesn't function.
This is a big deal, of course, and means that pilots can no longer rely on new Apple Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches in the U.S. to provide pulse oximetry functions for flight.
However, Aithre has developed our own line of pulse oximeter technology, called the Illyrian II series, which are not affected by the ITC decision, and do not infringe the Masimo patents subject to the exclusionary order. Importantly, Aithre customers continue to enjoy the benefits of Aithre's innovation, and the Aithre Illyrian technology continues to be available, with outputs to the Garmin G3X, Dynon, Advanced, Healthview, and iOS App.
Read more about Illyrian II in this month's cover feature of Aviation Consumer Magazine.