10 Tips for Selecting the Right Finger Pulse Oximeter

September 19, 2013

A pulse oximeter is a noninvasive medical device used for measuring a patient’s oxygen level in the blood and pulse rate. These are important vital signs, and accurate readings are crucial. How do you decide which one is right for you? Nonin Medical’s PureSAT® pulse oximetry technology provides accuracy you can depend on with highly responsive and precise oximeters for accurate and reliable readings, even in the most challenging conditions such as low perfusion or dark skin tones. Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters are the right choice.

Ask these questions before you buy:

1. How accurate is the oximeter and is the accuracy claim backed by evidence, e.g., studies and published papers?

Nonin Medical’s Onyx® finger pulse oximeters have clinically proven accuracy in the widest range of patients:

• Severinghaus JW. SpO2 Accuracy of PureSAT® Signal Processing Technology. University of California at San Francisco Hypoxia Research Laboratory
• Bickler PE, Feiner JR and Severinghaus JW. Effects of skin pigmentation on pulse oximeter accuracy in low saturations. Anesthesia 2005 102(4):715-9
• Mcnab AJ, Smith M, Phillips N and Smart P. Oximeter reliability in a subzero environment. Aviat Space Environ Med 1996 67(11):1053-6
• Homes, S. and SJ Peffers. 2009. PCRS-UK Opinion Sheet No. 28: Pulse Oximetry in Primary Care.
• Schermer T, et al. 2009. Pulse oximetry in family practice: indications and clinical observations in patients with COPD. Fam Pract 26(6):524-31
• Neuman MR. 1987. Pulse oximetry: physical principles, technical realization and present limitations. Adv Exp Med Biol 220:135-44

2. Will the oximeter work on a variety of patients? Does your oximeter specifically claim accuracy for patients with low circulation or dark skin tones?

Yes. Only Nonin Medical uses PureSAT® pulse-by-pulse filtering to provide proven accuracy in situations that are challenging such as light-to-dark skinned patients, good to low perfusion and more.

3. Will one device work for different patient size ranges, including very small fingers up to large fingers, or will I need to buy two separate oximeters?

Yes, with Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters, one device will work for a wide range of patients. They automatically adjust to each patient quickly and accurately and accommodate a wide range of finger thicknesses: 8 mm to 25.4 mm (0.3” to 1.0”) using CorrectCheckTM technology.

View All Fingertip Pulse Oximeters

4. Who offers the best warranty and has the best reputation for excellent customer service?

Nonin Medical is proud to offer long-term warranties on all fingertip pulse oximetry solutions.

5. Where is the oximeter manufactured, and who will I call if I have a problem with my oximeter?

Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters are made in the USA at Nonin Medical’s headquarter and manufacturing facility in Plymouth, Minnesota, with customer support centers in North America and Europe.

6. How long can I expect to use the oximeter? (If a device does not last, a lower upfront cost can result in higher costs due to multiple replacements.)

The durability and reliability of Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters are unmatched. In fact, you will regularly see ten-year-old Nonin Medical products used in the marketplace. Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters protect against dropping and water spills and allow for thousands of uses in the most demanding environments.

7. Is the oximeter easy to use and does it have a large, easy-to-read display?

Yes. Nonin Medical’s line of finger pulse oximeters have an easy-to-read, bright display.

8. Does your oximeter let you know if your finger is not placed correctly in the device?

The Model 3240 Bluetooth® Smart and Model 3245 USB pulse oximeters use CorrectCheckTM technology to provide feedback via a digital display to let users know if their finger is not placed correctly in the device.

9. Does the oximeter introduce lead or other hazardous materials into the environment? Does it comply with international lead free and/or hazardous materials standards?

Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeters are tested to be lead free, and are RoHS compliant (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations). An independent test lab analyzed the lead content in several finger pulse oximeters and showed that imports from two leading Chinese manufacturers contained “lead-rich components”. Nonin Medical’s products proved lead free.

10. For OEM, will the pulse oximeter be easy to integrate to my systems? Is technical support available? Is the clinical testing data available for my regulatory submission?

Yes. Nonin Medical’s finger pulse oximeter can be easily integrated into your systems. The Model 3230 Bluetooth® Smart pulse oximeter offers a simple and secure connection to Bluetooth Smart Ready devices. With more than 25 years of experience, Nonin Medical provides excellent technical support. In addition, Nonin Medical’s regulatory department can provide testing data and documentation for your regulatory submission (