Locally Manufactured Pulse Oximeter

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Medical equipment and devices (MED) account for a major portion of Sri Lanka’s total healthcare expenditure, including importation of these equipment. In Sri Lanka, the MED market has increased steadily over the past five years. Even though timely accessibility to healthcare equipment in public hospitals has been identified as a basic need, the required numbers have not been met by the state sector hospitals due to the high cost. Local manufacturing of healthcare equipment is one possible alternative to mitigate this problem.

A commercial prototype of medical grade Pulse Oximeter as a competitive product on par with other similar products in the local market has been developed by a team of researchers of the University of Morauwa with the financial support under the Technology Grant Scheme. The Premium International (Pvt) Ltd. has linked up with the university team to bring this product to the market. The Pulse Oximeter is a non-invasive device which is used to monitor blood oxygen level. It is a critical life-saving electronic medical device which is used in situations where continuous monitoring of the blood oxygen saturation is required, e.g. surgeries and critically ill patients. The demand for this device is high in hospitals, yet they only get a limited number due to the high cost.

The government imports around 400 Pulse Oximeters annually for about 80 million rupees for national hospitals, but the demand is more than twice the number imported. The locally designed Pulse Oximeter guarantees that it exceeds or is comparable with the existing high-end products in all specifications.


It has the following features superior to any existing model currently available in the local market.

  • 90% less power consumption: The locally developed Pulse Oximeter consume only 2VA (Max) whereas almost all other Pulse Oximeters consume around 20VA or more.
  • Use of 4.2V, 4800 mAh Li-ion battery instead of conventional lead accumulators: Battery size and weight is small compared to lead accumulators and the device can run up to 12 hours using fully charged battery without charging. Usually, this value in most of the available Pulse Oximeters is 4 - 6 hours or less.
  • Low power mode focusing on ambulatory applications to handle situations such as transferring patients from rural areas to Colombo. The device can run up to 20 hours without charging (starting from a fully charged battery) in the low power mode.
  • Measuring range: 30% - 100% of Pulsatile Oxygen Saturation (SPO2 ) with an error of 1% at the perfusion index of 2%, calibrated using patient simulator. This range is comparable with all competitive products in the global market.

This is yet another successful story of University-Industry Partnership supported by the NSF which has led to a marketable product, giving great impetus to local researchers to be engaged in more University-Industry Partnerships.Over the reporting period of 3 years, the livelihood of the resettled people improved immensely. The simple innovations, e.g. cages and baskets made of old bicycle rims, vehicle tyres, palmyrah leaf etc., and the use of household Research at Bench and Beyond waste to enrich the sandy soils, allowed the families to grow leafy vegetables and other vegetable crops in their home gardens improving their nutritional status. The home gardens also provided fresh fruit such as mango, guava and banana and vegetables such as onions, moringa and brinjals for home consumption. These became supplementary sources of food and in many cases brought-in an additional income too to the families. It is reported that some families earned as much as Rs. 10,000/- per month as additional income from their home gardens.

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