Capnography is the most accurate method to measure CO2 concentration in patients’ breath. It is essential for anaesthetists to avoid hypoxia and other adverse events. Currently, the widely adopted devices sample the air from the patient’s nose/mouth and pump it through a sensor that measures CO2 concentrations. Anaesthetists complain about the current devices due to their complicated set up, lag time of the signal and issues with leakage or measurement error.
The market is large and the current solution has clear drawbacks: prone to error, delay in measurement, and a setup that inhibits freedom of operation for medical professionals. In addition, regulators are making capnography mandatory for more and more procedures, and steep market growth is predicted in the coming years. A solution that fixes the issues can therefore create significant traction.
The solution was developed by Philips and is comprised of hardware and software. The latter makes the product superior since the measurement is done at the patient’s mouth or nose, without the need to bring the exhaled air into the sensor. Through an optical fibre and a patented signal processing algorithm, the new system analyses CO2 concentration directly under the patient’s nose. That eliminates the problems cited, by removing the sampling line and pumping system.
The technology is at proof-of-concept stage (TRL 3). The research team at Philips has already obtained proof of technology function, getting high quality capnography results and showing that the requirements are met. Next steps are to develop the new generation of oral-nasal cannula and patch cord (optical fibre cable), followed by the initial embodied device, ready for clinical trials.