The company ‘True Wearables’ based in California has launched a new product called ‘Oxxiom’, which the company claims to be the world’s first wireless and fully disposable, single-use pulse oximeter.
Pulse oximetry technology is a non-invasive method of monitoring a patient’s pulse rate and oxygen levels, which provides your doctor with an indication of your real-time cardio-respiratory status. They are widely used during medical procedures, during sleep monitoring and to help monitor conditions such as COPD, heart attacks and sleep apneoa.  The principle of pulse oximetry is based on the red and infrared light absorption rates of hemoglobin. Oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more infrared light and allows more red light to pass through, while deoxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more red light and allows more infrared light to pass through. Pulse oximetry uses a light emitter with red and infrared LEDs that shines through a site with good blood flow that has fairly translucent skin such as the finger, toe, or lobe of the ear. Opposite the emitter is a photodetector that receives the light that passes through the measuring site.
The Oxxiom is a small, feather-light, compact and user-friendly device which literally fits on the tip of your finger. It is packed full of electronics and bio-sensing technology but is completely wireless and provides over 24 hours of continuous pulse rate monitoring equivalent to the technology found in hospital. Its disposability eliminates the issue of sterilization and reduces the risk of cross-contamination so can be used in a clinical setting and each patient can get a fresh device or if used at home it is cheap enough for the patient to be able to use a new one every 24 hours. It allows for complete user mobility as it allows the user to sleep in any position, exercise, use the bathroom and shower, whilst still connected to the device.  It is also designed to work with any mobile device such as a mobile phone, tablet or laptop and a desktop computer and it does not require batteries or charging prior to use. Also things like nail polish and bright sunshine does not affect the readings, as with other devices. It is simple to use, just pop it on your finger and get on with your daily tasks and forget you’re even wearing it. The continuous monitoring provides a detailed record of your cardio-respiratory system and shows how it reacts to different stresses such as exercise. The patient can monitor their own readings and adjust their lifestyle, exercise, oxygen therapy or medication accordingly and the doctor can review the data to provide advice and adjustment of medications or oxygen flow rate as appropriate rather than just basing it on a snap-shot reading at the surgery and the patient’s feedback.
The device is due to ship out by the end of the year and soon your monitoring of your pulse rate and oxygen saturation will be a lot easier and more accurate than previously. Its another piece of technology among many that are starting to be manufactured that allow not only for more accurate, in-depth and continuous readings but the user-friendly aspect and the use of apps allows the patient to take more control and responsibility for their own health but also allows a quicker response when health starts to take a turn for the worse and may in the long-term help save lives.