Non-Contact Technology Can Measure Blood Oxygenation Levels

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It was recently announced that a study had discovered that it is possible to measure oxygen saturation of arterial blood (SpO2), a vital sign usually checked at hospitals, with contactless technology. The study was published in the June edition of Anesthesia & Analgesia. The procedure involves utilizing proprietary camera-based monitoring technology to evaluate the light levels reflecting off the foreheads of patients. Heartbeats create small “micro-blushes” (tiny alterations in skin color not visible to humans), which the contactless devices can measure and use to gauge pulse rates.

Before, hospitalized patients would have their vitals, like SpO2 levels or heart rate, monitored by applying or strapping devices to body parts. This could harm or irritate delicate skin, particularly in newborn and sickly patients, possibly causing more damage. The new method would allow healthcare professionals to properly take note of their patients’ conditions without causing any unnecessary distress.

For the last 10 years, numerous papers on contactless monitoring have appeared in journals, but most have focused on measuring pulse and respiration rates. Few touched on SpO2 until this study showed that measuring absolute blood oxygen levels can be done with contactless technology. Now SpO2 levels can be measured with calibrated contactless monitoring, it is likely that in the future these devices will be able to measure other devices.

Devices from Konica Minolta Sensing can also be used to measure minute differences in skin color. The CM-700d and CM-600d Spectrophotometers are portable and precise color measuring instruments that can be used in conjunction with the CM-SA Skin Analysis Software. This can measure a person’s Hemoglobin levels, Melanin Index, and Hemoglobin oxygen saturation (Hb SO2) Index, making it a perfect supplement for hospitals using contactless technology.

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