RT interviews Gary Tschautscher, president and CEO of Nonin® Medical Inc in Plymouth, Minn.

Advancements in medical monitoring technology are changing the way developers approach their business. Gary Tschautscher, president and CEO of Nonin® Medical Inc in Plymouth, Minn, tells RT about the role that changing technologies will play for his company and the health care industry.

How are the needs of the physiological monitoring market changing?
All of us in the health care industry are living in a time of rapid global change—and those who are able to anticipate that change and adapt to it quickly will be rewarded. While everyone is under increasing financial and regulatory pressure to provide quality services at reduced costs, we are fortunate that we no longer have to wait for technology to permit our progress. The available technologies are no longer a barrier, and they will continue to provide us with new opportunities and challenges.

Information and communication technologies—markets that are becoming more and more vital to the medical monitoring industry—are undergoing especially significant changes that create considerable challenges. While our tools become more flexible and powerful, our solutions must remain simple and user-friendly—not only to health care professionals, but to patients as well. The most challenging aspect of this technological growth is our remaining insistence on more parameters, better options, increased flexibility, and easier use, all in one device, and all at a low cost.

I believe that evolving technologies will present us with the solutions necessary to meet these kinds of challenges. Recent advancements, specifically in wireless technology and online capabilities, have unlocked a host of new opportunities. In the future, we will likely see seamless data transfer as small, wireless technologies make patients, sensors, and monitors increasingly mobile. We will see sensors become smaller and more powerful, connected by wireless technology to physician’s offices, clinics, or hospitals—capable of storing and transmitting patient data automatically, in a way that requires no user interaction. This kind of progress will essentially allow monitors to be designed on and for the patient.

How does Nonin address those challenges?
Nonin’s strength has always been to produce quality, innovative, and cost-efficient monitoring solutions. Our goal is to go beyond the ordinary, to stretch technology to the limit, and to provide “enabling technology” that results in better patient care that is available to more patients. Our best-known example of achieving that goal is our Onyx®, a widely used branded oximeter.

Nonin recently began a development project, based on Bluetooth™ wireless technology, which will eliminate the wire between the patient and monitor, resulting in more flexibility and freedom for the patient and health care provider. At the same time, this product will be flexible enough that other monitoring companies can easily integrate Nonin’s proven oximetry technology using Bluetooth wireless technology. Bluetooth is quickly becoming a worldwide communications standard for short distances—and its capabilities, uses, and parameters are expanding all the time. See for yourself how quickly Bluetooth technology is growing: Watch for the latest cell phones, mice, and keyboards in your local computer store.

As a company, Nonin relentlessly pursues these kinds of challenges. We are working on many new and exciting projects that will give both patients and health care providers the best of performance and convenience.