Pulse oximeters which work well for everyone

Published on
January 24, 2024

Researchers are developing quantum imaging healthcare technology which can simultaneously reducing device costs and rapidly improving accessibility for patients.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were relying on pulse oximeters to measure their oxygen levels. Pulse oximeters are among the most common devices for monitoring blood oxygenation, and they work by measuring the transmission of light through the patient’s fingertips. However, the oximeters do require calibration based on skin tone and finger anatomy, but this calibration has shown to be not suitable for everyone, particularly for patients with darker skin tones or smaller than average fingertips.

Researchers are working to develop an oximeter that provides accurate results no matter the skin tone or anatomy size. The proposed device works on the travel time of light transmission, and measurements are made possible due to the extremely sensitive quantum detectors. The introduction of an additional travel time measurement removes any patient calibration.

Imaging through the human body with visible light is another goal for researchers, who are aiming to develop quantum light-in-flight techniques, making imaging through tissue possible. This will replace expensive and limited MRI and X-Ray machines with hand-held portable devices.



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