Apple Watch Health Feature Faces Racial Lawsuit

Apple is currently defending itself in a class action lawsuit that has been filed against the Apple Watch maker. This lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York. It claims that the blood oximeter on the Apple Watch has a racial bias against dark skinned users.

What is Blood Oximeter in Apple Watch? Apple Watch

The blood oximeter is a feature that measures the amount of oxygen saturation level in the blood. If the measurement returns a result of 95% to 100% oxygen saturation, it means your blood oxygen level is normal. Anything below that is considered abnormal.

This feature has been on the Apple Watch since the year 2020 with the Series 6. As Apple had previously confirmed, users of the Apple watch series 6 or later models can measure the oxygen level of their blood from their wrist. This provides users with insights into their overall wellness.

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According to New York Post, the leading plaintiff goes by the name Alex Morales from New York. He bought his watch between 2020 and 2021. According to Morales, he bought the watch knowing that it can help him measure his blood oxygen level. He believed that this feature works accurately irrespective of your skin tone. Apple Watch

Morales said he did not expect the product to incorporate biases and defects in pulse oximetry due to the users’ skin tone. The watch is sold at a premium price of not less than $400 even though it produces false and misleading representations based on your skin tone.

The Plaintiff Proposed Class Action to Cover Apple Watch Users

In his lawsuit, Morales proposed that the suit is turned into a class action that covers all users from New York. This should cover all New Yorkers who purchased the Apple Watch during the time of the court case. He also wants the class action to cover all eligible users. Users in North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Utah.

On the other hand, Apple had said that the blood oximeter on the Apple Watch is not intended for medical use. It can neither be used for self-diagnosis nor medical consultation with a doctor. The Oximeter on the Apple Watch is only intended for general fitness and wellness purposes.

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