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August 9, 2006

BehindTheMedspeak: Miniaturized personal pulse oximeter/heart rate monitor


It's a miracle.

There is no other way to describe the device pictured above and below, which gives you an quick readout of your arterial blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.

In the O.R. I use a machine that performs these functions.

It costs about $5,000 and is about the size of a small toaster oven.

It requires a wire running from the thingie on your finger to the box.

From the website:

    Check Mate

    New medical mini-marvel lets you easily measure your pulse and oxygen level with remarkable accuracy

    It just got easier — and about three times more affordable — to measure your blood oxygen saturation levels and heart rate instantly and non-invasively.

    Just place the Check Mate on your finger and press the “On” button and within seconds, the unit will display accurate readings of your arterial blood oxygne saturation (SaO2) and heart rate in large, easy-to-read LCD numbers.

    The larger version of this device, utilizing the same breakthrough technology, is already in use at thousands of hospitals; the compact Check Mate is ideal for personal use and homecare-related applications where fast measurement of vital signs is required.

    It’s also great for gym workouts and joggers!

    It is highly energy efficient, eliminating the need for frequent battery replacement, and can be used outdoors in many conditions, including at high altitudes, high and low temperatures and even in the dark.

    • Signal Indicators: Sensor Off, Weak Signal, and Battery Power

    • Measures Blood Oxygen Saturation from 40 to 99% ± 2%

    • Measures Heart Rate from 40 to 250 bpm ± 3%

    • Pocket-sized (3” x 1.6” x 1.6”)

    • Weighs only 1.8 oz.


The version featured here — a miracle of miniaturization, computerization and industrial design — costs $199.95.


Easily the most impressive piece of technology I've seen this year.

August 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Aug 14, 2006 2:18:58 AM


Should take a good look at the accuracy and durability before you buy, because there have been reported cases of the SPO breaking two months after you buy it. There are other more durable fingertip oximeters out there. Also note that currently, oximeters cannot be sold commercially in the US with medical claims. The SportStat is a better device if you are looking for it to monitor activity (i.e. during rock climbing). REI's website shows the price at $325.00, but it is better unit.

Posted by: Maduro | Sep 27, 2006 9:47:41 AM

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