Focus Area: (3rd July 2010)

Post date: Jul 2, 2010 4:22:09 PM

Focus Area: Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a medical device that indirectly measures the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood (as opposed to measuring oxygen saturation directly through a blood sample) and changes in blood volume in the skin, producing a photoplethysmograph. It is often attached to a medical monitor so staff can see a patient's oxygenation at all times

A pulse oximeter is useful in any setting where a patient's oxygenation is

unstable, including intensive care, operating, recovery at home or in hospital,

emergency and hospital ward settings, thus useful in determining the effectiveness of or need for supplemental oxygen.


According to a report by Frost & Sullivan entitled U.S. Pulse Oximetry Monitoring Equipment Market, US sales of oximeters were worth $201 million in 2006. The report estimated that oximeter sales in the US would increase to $310 million annually by 2013.

In 2008, more than half of the major internationally-exporting medical equipment manufacturers in China were producers of pulse oximeters.

In June, 2009, video game company Nintendo announced an upcoming peripheral for the Wii console, dubbed the "Vitality Sensor," which consists of a pulse oximeter. This marks the onset of the use of this device for non-medical, entertainment purposes.

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