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Company History

By Clayton Bennett October 26, 2018

In 1986, physicist Philip Isaacson and a team of engineers developed a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen (SpO2) levels. The concept of oximetry was not new—O2 saturation measurement devices were first invented in the 1930s—but Issacson and his team made the technology more compact and affordable. The name “Nonin” is short for “noninvasive.”

Since then, the company has introduced dozens of new products and developed several proprietary technologies that advance the quality and accessibility of noninvasive physiological monitoring. Significant achievements include:

1986—Company founded; first oximeter shipped
1990—Introduced world’s first portable hand-held pulse oximeter
1995—Introduced world’s first fingertip pulse oximeter
1997—Released world’s first low power pulse oximeter for OEM
2004—Introduced world’s first pulse oximeter with Bluetooth® wireless technology
2007—Launched pulse oximeter/capnograph product to USA and Canada
2008—Founding member of Continua™ Alliance Group
2009—Recipient of Bluetooth SIG “Best of CES” Award
2009—Introduced the first and only regional cerebral/somatic tissue oximeter to use a dual light emitting and detecting sensor architecture for industry-leading accuracy (Validation data on file)
2010—Certified to Microsoft HealthVault® eHealth consumer platform
2011—Introduced multiple innovations in regional oximetry: adult and neonatal/pediatric sensors for cerebral and somatic application; the world’s first sensor to automatically adjust for myelination variation in neonatal/pediatric brain tissue
2011—Released world’s first regional oximetry components for OEMs
2012—Introduced the world’s first and only regional oximetry pediatric sensor to automatically account for pediatric brain-tissue-development variation when measuring oxygen saturation levels
2013—Made two introductions in Europe: the world’s first universal oximetry system combining pulse oximetry and regional oximetry in one system, and the world’s first medical device featuring Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) wireless technology
2013—Won the Frost & Sullivan North American Product Quality Leadership Award for Pulse Oximeters

Today, Nonin Medical is globally recognized as an innovator in signal processing and sensor design; its technologies are used by hundreds of medical device manufacturers. Its products include pulse oximeters, regional oximeters, capnographs, sensors, software and accessories. With headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and with a service center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Nonin distributes products to health professionals and consumers in more than 125 countries. Philip Isaacson serves as the company’s chief executive officer and chief technology officer.