Researchers at UC Berkeley Develop Wearable, Disposable Device for Pulse Oximetry with Technology That Could Measure Other Biomarkers In Vivo

This innovative technology platform is newest effort to measure biomarkers without the need for the invasive specimen collection techniques used in medical laboratory testing

Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers interested in how new technologies are transforming certain well-established clinical practices will be interested to learn about the latest research breakthroughs in pulse oximetry, a common procedure used to measure the oxygen level (or oxygen saturation) in the blood.

Pulse oximetry is considered to be a noninvasive, painless, general indicator of oxygen delivery to the peripheral tissues (such as the finger, earlobe, or nose). For decades, PO has been ubiquitous in the hospital. Now, because of recent advance, this field is poised for a paradigm shift away from simple monitoring devices to advanced products capable of connecting patients to electronic systems that continuously gather data and notify caregivers when values become critical.

A group of bioengineering doctoral students at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have invented an inexpensive Band-Aid-style oximeter that uses red and green light to non-invasively monitor pulse rate and oxygen level in blood. While this device could revolutionize pulse oximetry monitoring in healthcare settings, the technology might also be applied to measuring other useful biomarkers as one approach to eliminate invasive specimen collection. (more…)