What is a Pulse Oximeter from Costco?

Funny you should ask.

The pulse oximeter pictured here is a neat little gadget that Costco is selling. As you can see from the picture, it monitors your Heart Rate (pulse), Oxygen Level and your Blood Flow. In sum, very useful information provided in a matter of seconds with no penetration of your flesh. There is even a cool graph of your heart beat on the screen.350-588488-847__1 In this period of wearables, the Pulse Oximeter is reminiscent of the first cell phones. But, you can feel like a camp counselor and wear it around your neck using the attached lanyard.

Before I go into explanations and specifications, I want to disclose that I bought one of these and have been using it for a week now. Love it! It is particularly useful when I am stair climbing. I like to get a handle on how my heart rate accelerates on the climb and then nosedives when I walk around to bring it down.

The Costco listing: “The Quest Pulse Oximeter is designed to support individuals as they monitor their pulse rate and oxygen saturation. This lightweight portable device takes fast, non-invasive measurements at the fingertip. Ideal for monitoring heart rate and oxygen saturation during sports activities, while exercising or during air travel. “

Okay, what does it measure?
Pulse Rate Measurement (BPM) – Measures the number of heart beats per minute. A normal adult pulse rate while resting is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) – Oxygen saturation is a measure of how much oxygen the blood is carrying as a percentage of the maximum it could carry. Measuring saturated hemoglobin is a useful screening tool for determining basic respiratory function.
Perfusion Index (PI%) – Perfusion index is an indication of the pulse strength at the sensor site. The PI’s values range from 0.2% for very weak pulse to 20% for extremely strong pulse.

Here are some of the FAQs, man:

1. What is the finger oximeter used for?
The Quest Product’s finger oximeter is a useful, non-invasive monitor of a patient’s cardio-respiratory system.

2. What does the finger oximeter measure?
The finger oximeter measures the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in arterial blood, which is given out as digital readout in percentage? The pulse rate can also be measured and given out as digital readout in beats per minute.

3. Where is the finger oximeter often used?
Finger oximeters can be used in a variety of clinical institutions, such as hospital (ICU, recovery room, general wards), clinic, nursing home, community medical center, etc. and also can be used for home care.

Costco offers the 3 in 1 deluxe Pulse Oximeter for $45.99 with shipping and handling included.

I think this is a neat tool and a welcome addition to my weight control and exercise arsenal.



Filed under Exercise, heart rate, heart rate monitor, oximeter, Weight, weight loss

7 responses to “What is a Pulse Oximeter from Costco?

  1. Nancy

    Would you further explain how you use the pulse oximeter? Do you keep it on your finger the entire time that you are climbing the stairs and when you are cooling down? I really like the idea of measuring O2 saturation and blood perfusion but would think that having this on your finger the entire time might be cumbersome.


    • Hi, Nancy. Nice to hear from you.

      No, it’s real simple, you just put your finger in when you want a reading and two seconds later you have one. I don’t keep it on my finger while walking. I agree with you. It would be a nuisance to have it on your finger the entire time.


  2. Reblogged this on One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100 and commented:



    It’s fair to say that the novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people shop—and also the items they shop for. There has been a shortage of things one might expect: toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and thermometers. But, there are other—more surprising—items like yoga mats, yeast, and, more recently, pulse oximeters.

    So, what, exactly, is a pulse oximeter?

    It’s an electronic device that clips onto a patient’s finger to measure heart rate and oxygen saturation in his or her red blood cells—the device is useful in assessing patients with lung disease. Pulse oximeters started to fly off store (and online) shelves when people learned that low oxygen saturation levels can be a sign of COVID-19, according to Yale Medicine.


  3. Hi Tony, My sister was in the hospital last month for ten days after contracting COVID. One of her nurses told me that people were starting to panic buy pulse oximeters. She said Walmart and Walgreens were out and she suggested Amazon. My sister was being sent home on oxygen but we were surprised that the oxygen company was not supplying her with a pulse oximeter or that they even had any available. So we ordered her one off of Amazon and it has been very helpful. I ordered myself one too!

    Liked by 1 person

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