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Testing FDA approved pulse oximeter

Posted at — Sep 23, 2020 by Abishek Muthian

Fake FDA certified pulse oximeters

Ecommerce sites in India are full of pulse oximeters falsely claiming to be FDA certified. If they are actually available in U.S., they don't claim it to be FDA certified and are not listed on FDA's database.

Some of the pulse oximeters try to falsely project quality by prominently claiming to be designed in a Western country, where as they are listed under different brand with poor ratings in the ecommerce websites of the country they claim to be from.

Here is my public service announcement of the same on Twitter.

Naturally, I was asked to name some brands who are perpetrating misinformation. Which I obliged.

Note: After my PSA, some of these sellers have removed the offending FDA certification claims from their listing. But I do have archives of their older listing 1.b, 1.c, 1.d, 2.b.

Genuine FDA certified pulse oximeter

Since then, I was asked by several readers including journalists on how to find genuine pulse oximeters on ecommerce websites. I was convinced that there is no affordable genuine pulse oximeter on ecommerce websites during this pandemic, only way to get one is to buy an expensive medical device and that's what I informed all of them.

But, I wanted to checkout a pulse oximeter from Amazon USA website to see what sensor they are using for technical reasons. I bought 'ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter Finger Oximetry SPO2 Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor Heart Rate Monitor Rotatable OLED Digital Display Portable with Batteries and Lanyard' for $34.49 (incl. $17.99 shipping+taxes), there was just one item left when I got it and the item description read 'it was not FDA certified'.

But what I received was 'YIMI Life model YM101 fingertip pulse oximeter'Search.

To my surprise, YIMI Life YM101 is actually FDA certified.

I don't think ATMOKO rebrands YIMI Life YM101 as their listing image was different, perhaps this is an upcoming model waiting to be rebranded or may be this was just lying around for testing, anyways I can't complain for receiving an actual FDA certified pulse oximeter accidentally.

The ATMOKO listing has since been taken down, likely because their inventory is sold out. I couldn't find YIMI Life 101 on Amazon directly, but search results seem to show other brands with the same pulse oximeter. Contact the seller directly and ask them whether it's YIMI Life YM101 before buying.

If you are a reseller, you can find the original manufacturer of YIMI Life YM101 on AlibabaBuy, but it seems like they are selling updated models.

Testing FDA certified Pulse Oximeter

This is a non scientific test, I don’t have a control to reduce the blood haemoglobin levels or a co-oximeter to test it against; but that’s where the FDA certification adds value as they have done tests to state that the device does the job.

Video :

I'm confident that YIMI Life YM101 indeed does its job.

Disclaimer: I have shared my experiences with finding and testing a pulse oximeter. I'm not suggesting or recommending you to repeat any of my actions without proper medical guidance.

Buy the items discussed in this post using affiliate links

Search for YIMI Life YM101

Resellers link for YIMI Life YM201


Resellers link for YIMI Life YM301


Change log

Reseller link model name corrected to YM201, YM301 reseller link added.