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Black Development: This Ugandan Co-Developed The Unique Blood Oxygen Monitor In Apple Watch Series 6

Posted by Abeiku Ebo on

Black Development: This Ugandan Co-Developed The Unique Blood Oxygen Monitor In Apple Watch Series 6

In September when technology giant Apple released the new Apple Watch Series 6, it came with a special feature — a blood oxygen saturation monitor. The blood oxygen app that differentiates the new watch from the rest enables one to measure the oxygen level of their blood on-demand directly from their wrist, providing them with insights into their overall wellness, according to Apple.

And this life-saving feature is all thanks to a team of software engineers at Apple Computers that was led by Ugandan-American Dr. Jeofrey Kibuule. 31-year-old Kibuule, who is one of the best software engineers in the diaspora, grabbed headlines, especially in the tech world, immediately after the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6.

For many, the in-built unique blood oxygen saturation sensors came at the right time, as many patients in critical condition with COVID-19 have had low blood oxygen levels.

“During a blood oxygen measurement, the back crystal [under the wrist watch] shines red and green LEDs and infrared light onto your wrist. Photodiodes then measure the amount of light reflected back. Advanced algorithms use this data to calculate the colour of your blood. The colour determines your blood oxygen level — bright red blood has more oxygen, while dark red blood has less,” a statement on the Apple website states.

Apple has, however, said that measurements taken with the blood oxygen app are only “for general fitness and wellness purposes.”

Kibuule, who is among the brains behind the blood oxygen app, has been working in Silicon Valley for the last five years. Passionate about technology and medicine, Kibuule, while in medical school at the age of just 23, developed a lab reference app. Known as Pocket Lab Values, the app helps to increase the chances of the accuracy of diagnoses, the Daily Monitor reported.

The groundbreaking app, according to a report, “catapulted him [Kibuule] on a global stage to collaborate with medical professionals in Laboratory investigations for health solutions.”

The second-born son of Dr. and Mrs. Mawanda Kibuule, of Desoto, Texas, the software engineer comes from a brilliant family. Out of the five members of the family, four are with doctorates. Kibuule’s father, retired Dr. Pascal Mawanda Kibuule (PhD), is a physicist. His brother, Dr. Leonard Kibuule, is an orthopedic spine surgeon and one of the top 20 spine surgeons in the United States. His younger sister, Dr. Grace N. Kibuule, is pursuing a residency in anesthesiology at the University of San Francisco, California. Their mother, Jane Kibuule, is a CPA.

It is therefore not surprising to many that Kibuule, at just 18, became the first known Ugandan-American to graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Kibuule, before joining the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine, graduated from the Honors College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) of Texas at the University of North Texas. He would then study medicine and graduate from Baylor College of Medicine with an M.D. in 2014.

The soft-spoken young man is now earning praise in the tech world with his innovative solutions that are saving and improving lives.


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