d06a.jpg (8744 bytes)When the authors of a recent study of neonates prescribed a strict oxygen management protocol, combined with the use of Masimo SET oximetry, they reportedly saw dramatic reductions in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). RT spoke with Joe E. Kiani, founder and CEO of Masimo Corp, Irvine, Calif, about this and other recent applications in which he says Masimo SET technology helps improve patient outcomes.

Q: How does Masimo technology affect ROP?
A: ROP is reported to be primarily caused by overoxygenating premature infants or by allowing dramatic swings in the oxygenation of these babies. To control an infant’s oxygenation, you must start with a reliable monitoring tool. This has been difficult in the past due to the inability of pulse oximeters to work under the challenging conditions posed by these patients. Researchers hypothesized that a strict oxygen curtailment protocol monitored with Masimo SET oximetry could lead to decreased rates of ROP due to its precision and tolerance to motion artifact and low perfusion. A 5-year study, published in Pediatrics, proved the hypothesis to be true. In the study, the rate of ROP decreased from 10%-12% to nearly 0% for babies weighing 750 g to 1,250 g and from 38% to 10%-12% for babies weighing less than 750 g.

Q: Are there other conditions that the technology has affected as dramatically?
A: There are many areas where clinicians have told us Masimo SET picks up or continues to reliably read where other technologies fail. This occurs in departments such as the OR, PACU, critical care units, EMS, and transport, to name a few. Another area is the sleep labs, which are rapidly standardizing on Masimo SET. The recent Medicare standards for CPAP qualification have become more difficult to meet, but the Masimo SET Radical offers fidelity in tracking changes in SpO2 through its unique FastSat™ feature, without being affected by motion. FastSat averages data nearly instantaneously, so hypopneic events that used to be missed are now caught and recorded. The Radical also gives 72 hours’ worth of trending at 2-second resolution and up to 30 days at 10-second resolution, so serial testing at home is maximized.

Q: Is Masimo pursuing research in these areas?
A: We have always believed our technology was significantly better than other products on the market, and research is the vehicle to demonstrate that. Educating the world is a two-step process: prove the superiority of the technology according to rigid, unbiased scientific principles, and then communicate the story of how hospitals see patient care and productivity rise due to fewer false alarms and reduced costs due to improved sensor longevity. Recent research has identified our perfusion index as a diagnostic tool. Other research has discussed ways of using our accuracy to test asymptomatic newborns for congenital heart disease. It’s very exciting for Masimo and our customers to see what can happen when technology is both reliable and precise and can thus be depended upon for appropriate clinical feedback.