A health tech firm has developed the industry’s thinnest dedicated sensor for blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) measurement.
The breakthrough could help to advance the remote monitoring of vital signs within small consumer products such as
earbuds, smart watches and wristbands, as well as to medical devices such as oximeters.
The AS7038RB, developed by ams, could also be suitable for innovative applications in remote diagnostic equipment, such as disposable patches used for SpO2 and electro-cardiogram (ECG) measurement in hospital emergency rooms.
It “gives medical teams and patients greater flexibility to choose how, where and when measurements of these vital signs are taken using non-invasive methods for fast response”, the firm says.
Furthermore, evidence increasingly suggests that low SpO2 is an early symptom of the COVID-19, before the onset of breathing difficulty in some at-risk patients.
The development of a wearable SpO2 measurement device based on the AS7038RB can be used remotely and therefore help in the treatment of people infected with the virus.
Wim Renirie, vice president and general manager for the accessory and wearable solutions business line at ams, said: “The
AS7038RB offers an additional diagnostic tool, enabling the creation of wearable and disposable equipment for monitoring blood oxygen saturation accurately and safely, without requiring the presence of a medical practitioner.”
The sensor, housed in a package with a footprint of 3.70mm x 3.10mm and which is just 0.65mm thin, integrates a highly
sensitive photodiode, four LED drivers, an analog front end, and a sequencer.
It is supplied with application software for SpO2and heart rate measurement. The analog front end also supports concurrent ECG measurement complying with the requirements of the IEC 6060-2-47 medical standard.
The accuracy of the AS7038RB’s SpO2 measurements, very closely matching the outputs from medical-grade pulse oximeters used in hospital testing facilities, is in part due to the unique on-wafer interference filter technology developed by ams.
The filter enables the AS7038RB to capture optical signals in the 590nm-710nm and near infrared (800nm-1050nm)
wavelength bands of interest for SpO2measurement, while blocking interference from ambient light at other wavelengths.