New offerings in pulse oximetry and patient monitoring are improving clinician workflow.


Today’s pulse oximetry and patient monitoring products aim to improve patient management by reducing false alarms and integrating with a hospital’s electronic medical record (EMR) system. Here’s a look at some of the current market offerings.

GE Healthcare’s Carescape Monitor B450

The Carescape Monitor B450 gives clinicians access to data from multiple sources, including laboratory results, medications, Muse cardiology system data, and telemetry. With the Carescape Patient Data Module, data follows the patient, enabling improved patient flow door-to-door with access to the seamless record of clinical intelligence clinicians need. “Customized alarm management allows for the flexibility to address specific care-area needs, helping to reduce alarm fatigue and supporting a restful patient environment,” said Riina Rautee, marketing manager, GE Healthcare.

The Carescape V2 software on the B450 features the latest GE electrocardiography (ECG) arrhythmia algorithm, which is proven to reduce false alarms by helping to distinguish noise and artifacts from true beats and enabling continued function of the monitor in the event of single electrode failure. EK Pro algorithm v13 provides improved detection of narrow complex ventricular tachycardia, especially with pediatric patients, and brings new technology to the detection of supraventricular tachyarrhythmia, Rautee added.

The Carecape B450 fully integrates to feed data to the hospital EMR by connecting to GE’s central station. The central station is connected to the Carescape gateway, which then flows patient data to the hospital’s EMR.

The Carescape B450 can go virtually everywhere the patient goes within the hospital. “It’s compact and lightweight, with a monitor equipped with wireless capabilities to enable continuous central station communication while maintaining consistent levels of patient monitoring,” Rautee said.

Designed with clinicians for clinicians, the Carescape B450’s user interface is intuitive and consistent with other members of the Carescape monitoring family. “In-person, remote, or off-site service options keep the Carescape B450’s system running optimally while helping to lower maintenance costs,” Rautee says. Software updates and predictive maintenance protect the system investment and help avoid downtime. Remote serviceability allows facility engineers or GE Healthcare technicians to access the devices without interrupting clinical workflow.

The Philips IntelliVue Information Center (PIIC iX)

Philips’ IntelliVue Information Center (PIIC iX) provides a powerful central monitoring system that allows for an intuitive view of each patient’s current status, including ECG waveforms, numerics, trends, ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) limit maps, laboratory results, and more.

“Each view is personalized to the patient’s clinical condition and is configured for unique departments,” said James Caffrey, senior director of product management, Philips, Andover, Mass. PIIC iX interfaces with hospital information system applications and the EMR, simplifying clinical workflow, supporting a continuous patient record, and streamlining patient transfer.

The PIIC iX alarm audit log supports hospital research on alarming and sentinel events, allowing organizations to analyze data in order to optimize alarm limits. Caregivers have the ability to filter by patient or unit, type of alarm, action taken, and where that action took place. The alarm summary report provides a snapshot of the patient’s most frequent alarms along with the major vital signs trends. “This report can help caregivers decide if an alarm limit change would result in a reduction of non-actionable alarms,” Caffrey said.

PIIC iX supports interfacing with the EMR. The report distribution option allows for the exportation of patient monitoring reports, including annotated wave strips, in an electronic PDF format. With the IntelliBridge Enterprise solution, these reports can be configured to be automatically sent to the EMR via an HL7 message. “This supports long-term storage and streamlined access via the EMR,” Caffrey said.

Trend upload transfers up to eight hours of numeric data from the bedside monitor to the PIIC iX when the monitoring devices are back on the network. While not all electronic records will accept historical data, HL7 store and forward provide the ability to store the HL7 data and send it to the EMR. Synchronization from the local mode provides continuous patient demographics and review data, even after a disconnect from the primary server.

PIIC iX is for use in hospital care, and is supported by a portable mobile application called CareEvent, which delivers a snapshot of parameters and waveforms, as well as a history of recent alerts, directly to each caregiver. “This gives clinicians the information they may need to make quick patient assessments, escalate to another caregiver, and manage workload,” Caffrey said. “It also supports hospitals’ efforts to comply with The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals on Alarm Management.”

Drive Medical’s Vital Sign Monitor – MQ3600

The MQ3600 is a compact, lightweight, and portable patient monitoring system. The unit can monitor and record a patient’s peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) as well as pulse and blood pressure. “With an optional thermometry feature, users have the capability to monitor four vital signs which greatly improves patient management,” said Craig Bright, vice president, Business Development, Drive Medical, Port Washington, NY.

Additionally, the ability to adjust alarm levels to ranges acceptable to the clinician reduces false alarms caused by normal fluctuations to the patient’s conditions. The lithium ion battery provides security in the event of a power outage, giving added comfort to the patient and caregiver. These features, along with the ability to be attached to an intravenous pole, make it useful and convenient in any setting.

Masimo’s Root Patient Monitoring and Connectivity Platform  

The Root Patient Monitoring and Connectivity Platform by Masimo, Irvine, Calif, is designed to support patient and clinician needs in any area of the hospital. Root enables clinicians to choose the measurements they need for a clinical situation—including Masimo rainbow and SET measurements, Sedline brain function monitoring, or ISA sidestream capnography and gas monitoring. Third-party expansion is available via MOC-9 modules.

Furthermore, Root integrates with Masimo’s Patient SafetyNet system, enabling nurses or clinicians to admit and discharge patients. Root’s built-in connectivity hub enables standalone third-party devices such as intravenous pumps, ventilators, beds, and other patient monitors to send data through Root to the Patient SafetyNet system for reporting, clinician notifications, and two-way EMR integration utilizing the standard HL7 protocol. Root supports Masimo’s MyView capability, which provides an automatic display of parameters, waveforms, and viewing configurations.

Masimo SET Measure-through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry has been shown in more than 100 independent and objective studies to outperform all other pulse oximetry technologies, providing clinicians with unmatched sensitivity and specificity to make critical patient care decisions, reported Charles Schmidt, director of strategic marketing, Acute Care, Masimo.

One study showed that with Masimo SET, false alarms were reduced by more than 95%, while true alarm detection increased to more than 97%—even during conditions of motion and low perfusion.1 By using Masimo SET with the Patient SafetyNet system for continuous monitoring of post-surgical orthopedic patients, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was able to achieve only four alarms per patient per day while greatly impacting clinical events.2

After implementing Masimo SET and Patient SafteyNet remote monitoring and wireless notification system in a post-surgical floor where only intermittent spot-checking was used before, Dartmouth-Hitchcock reduced rapid response activations by 65% and intensive care unit transfers by 48%, and realized $1.48 million in annual opportunity cost savings.2 Based on the results in this single unit, Dartmouth-Hitchcock expanded the system to all seven of its medical-surgical units and had zero patients experience brain injury or death over a five-year period.3 RT


Karen Appold is a contributing writer to RT. For further information, contact [email protected].



  1. Shah N, Ragaswamy HB, Govindugari K, Estanol L. J Clin Anesth. 2012 Aug;24(5):385-391.

  2. Taenzer AH, et al. Anesthesiology. 2010;112(2):282-287.

  3. Taenzer AH, et al. Postoperative monitoring—the Dartmouth Experience. Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter. Spring-Summer 2012.