Starting in January, new software will be available in Europe to measure a patient’s breathing rate from information already collected using pulse oximeters. Developed in Scotland, the Covidien Nellcor™ Respiration Rate software uses a relatively new mathematical technique to calculate the patient’s breathing rate from the electronic signal collected by the pulse oximeter, replacing manual counts by medical professionals of the rise and fall of a patient’s chest.

While devices that can provide continual monitoring of breathing rate are available, they all require additional monitoring sensors. The new software is fully integrated into the pulse oximeter, eliminating the need for additional wires or screens.

“The addition of respiration rate to the Covidien Nellcor Respiratory Function portfolio provides a more holistic monitoring solution using a single, integrated sensor. Instead of merely knowing a patient’s blood oxygen levels, we can now look at aspects of ventilation, or the passing of air into and out of the body. This gives dedicated care teams a more complete picture of a patient’s respiratory status, so they can provide effective treatment and maintain patient safety,” said Scott Kelley, chief medical officer for Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions at Covidien.

The US-based Covidien will offer Covidien Nellcor Respiration Rate Version 1.0 and the Adult Respiration Rate Sensor with the CE Mark in a limited market release, which will allow select European hospitals to be the first to use the new software.

The technology for the software was developed by Scotland-based CardioDigital Ltd with funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Source: Covidien: Wellcome Trust