Designing a finger pulse oximeter that has an edge in a crowded marketplace.




The finger pulse oximeter is a very common sight in clinics and hospitals where it is used as a preliminary diagnostic tool for spot check of a patient’s pulse and oxygen level in the blood. The pulse oximeter displays the oxygen saturation levels of a patient’s blood and also the heart rate. It is an easy to use non-invasive procedure and does not require extracting blood samples. The patient inserts his fingertip in to the oximeter which is then switched on. A pair of small light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is beamed through the patient’s fingertip, illuminating the skin, on to a photo diode or sensor and a photoplethysmograph is produced. This graph measures changes in light absorption by the skin to provide the reading.

Opto Circuits, the client who came to us with the technology, was looking for a Design that would somehow lend it an edge in a market flooded with oximeters of all shapes and sizes.



The finger pulse oximeter that emerged from the many design explorations was a petite, winsome product. A compact, lightweight device, it could be easily slipped in to a pocket.

The styling worked around miniaturization of the form and the finer details. The vertical bulk of the device was visually reduced by making it appear like two components fused together with two distinct colours. The colours were chosen to make it feel professional. We modified the silicon sleeve to more obviously snugly fit the finger. The shape of the new sleeve was optimised to the form, integrating the silicon and the plastic body of the oximeter and therefore making it more ergonomic for use.

The new oximeter could accommodate fingers of all shapes and sizes including that of children comfortably. The features of the device include an ON/OFF switch, an LCD screen and a replaceable battery compartment. The device also went through a stringent certification process to meet IP 64 specifications (ingress protection)



  • Design Research
  • Industrial Design
  • Prototyping
  • Engineering
  • Production Samples