Tetherless Masimo pulse oximeter can be used to monitor Covid-19 patients at home

Masimo pulse oximeter, Radius PPG

Sudden drops in blood oxygen saturation levels are an early indicator of more serious breathing problems in Covid-19 cases. The ability to measure and remotely monitor this health parameter could help hospitals from being overwhelmed by those whose symptoms aren’t serious enough to require hospitalization. Patients can then be sent home but monitored so if their condition deteriorates they are quickly returned. This means the Covid-19 surge capacity of hospitals is significantly increased and their intensive care resources protected and kept available for only the most seriously ill patients

Nordic Semiconductor today reveals that it has been doing everything it can to pull on available inventory from its global distributor network to meet an increase in demand for its high-end Bluetooth® System-on-Chip (SoC). This sits at the heart of an industry-leading, battery-powered wireless pulse oximeter, the Radius PPG™, that was launched last year by leading U.S. medical technology and device company, Masimo, and is now set to join the front-line battle against Covid-19 as part of Masimo’s SafetyNet™ solution.

Because Radius PPG is designed to allow tetherless monitoring, it can be used as part of the Masimo SafetyNet platform to remotely manage Covid-19 patients at home and potentially help protect hospitals from being overwhelmed by less severe cases. As such, orders for the Radius-PPG wireless pulse oximeter over the past few weeks have seen a significant increase. 

Masimo’s legendary pulse oximeter accuracy has made their SET® technology the preferred choice in 9 out of the top 10 hospitals in the U.S. alone, and at a time when making accurate blood oxygen measurements is absolutely crucial no matter how hostile the operating environment of the device due to environmental factors such as patient movement.
Masimo sincerely thanks Nordic for finding a way to increase supply to Masimo for its high-end Bluetooth SoC, so Masimo could increase deliveries of the Radius PPG and help in this time of need
Richard Priddell, Masimo.

In operation, the Radius PPG sensor is paired using Bluetooth to the Masimo SafetyNet App on the patient’s smartphone, prescribed by a healthcare professional who then sets up the miniature fingertip device to send regular measurements to a cloud-based dashboard. This enables medical staff at a hospital to simultaneously manage large numbers of discharged patients without having to have them stay in the hospital.

“We didn’t originally develop Radius PPG to combat Covid-19,” says Bilal Muhsin, Chief Operating Officer,  Masimo. “We first and foremost developed it so it could monitor hospital patients accurately, even when the patient is moving, without the inconvenience of a wired connection to a monitor. But it turns out that in the current Covid-19 crisis this tetherless capability, when paired with a secure, cloud-based telehealth platform accessible from a smartphone for patients and from a web-based dashboard for providers, can provide an valuable way to manage Covid-19 patients who do not require hospitalization. And continue to check them from their homes, allowing hospital beds to be freed up for those who need it. Masimo SafetyNet uses the same Radius PPG tetherless pulse oximeter designed for use in the hospital to provide a remote patient management solution small enough to be worn comfortably and simple enough to be set-up quickly on the patient’s smartphone.”

“Masimo sincerely thanks Nordic for finding a way to increase supply to Masimo for its high-end Bluetooth SoC, so Masimo could increase deliveries of the Radius PPG and help in this time of need,” said Richard Priddell, Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Masimo.

“Our hearts go out to the brave front line medical and hospital personnel doing their absolute best to cope with the often overwhelming numbers of Covid-19 patients coming through their doors in Covid-19 hotspots around the world,” concludes Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor Director of Sales & Marketing.  

“It is very easy to become extremely discouraged in such situations, which is why anything that can help relieve some of the pressure and reduce the influx of patients has to be tried and implemented. The IoT and smart medical devices are all about making better use of scarce resources and producing better outcomes for patients. So when Masimo asked our U.S. sales team if they could help them meet the call for millions of wireless pulse oximeters from hospitals around the globe, they were told if it was possible then they would make it happen.

“After contacting their Nordic Semiconductor colleagues in customer service teams around the world to determine global availability of Nordic SoC chips worldwide, the biggest spare inventory was found in Asia. At this point Nordic’s Asia sales teams joined in a world-wide effort to sequester spare distribution channel inventory of SoCs. The end result was that Nordic did manage to deliver to Masimo within weeks and at a time when Covid-19 was severely affecting shipping deliveries around the globe. I am very proud of every member of the team for making this happen.”

Nordic’s latest multiprotocol SoC is the company’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. 

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