Nonin Medical and Penell A/S in agreement to develop first Bluetooth-enabled pulse oximeter

Minneapolis 20 August 2002Nonin Medical Inc., developer and manufacturer of innovative pulse oximetry and other medical monitoring technologies, has signed an agreement with Penell A/S of Denmark, a supplier of wireless solutions for medical devices, under which the two companies will develop the next generation in pulse oximetry: wireless monitoring using Bluetooth technology.

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"Through this agreement, Nonin Medical will continue to offer the latest innovation in pulse oximetry", stated Gary Tschautscher, the company's chief executive officer. "Our aim is to further improve the flexibility of our technology, simplify the job for the health care provider and add to the comfort of patients being monitored." Pulse oximeters measure blood oxygen saturation.

Development of a wireless pulse oximeter will eliminate the need for the cable that currently connects a sensor, often attached to the patient's fingertip, with a monitor. Patients will be able to walk around or shift positions in bed without being restricted by the cable.

"Bluetooth wireless technology is a widely accepted and rapidly growing wireless standard that is well suited for medical monitoring. It is an excellent fit with our extremely small and low-power pulse oximeter technology", stated Mr. Tschautscher. "Penell is widely recognised for its leadership in applying wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, to the design and development of new and innovative medical products. We are pleased to join forces in this endeavour with a company of Penell's caliber."

In addition to broadening the range of Nonin's branded products, development of Bluetooth-enabled pulse oximetry will pave the way for the company's OEM business to offer wireless pulse oximetry to other manufacturers for integration into products where blood oxygen saturation is but one parameter to be measured.

"Bluetooth wireless technology is set to become commonly used in health care and medical devices", stated Bjarne Flou, chief executive officer of Penell. "It provides a whole range of new and innovative opportunities in mobile devices, the most important being interoperability. Bluetooth makes it possible for new devices, like this pulse oximeter, to operate seamlessly with different types of devices, such as PDAs, PCs, cellular phones, and wireless networks based on Bluetooth."

"The future will bring new devices for patient monitoring in areas and situations not yet imagined", stated Mr. Tschautscher. "Wireless pulse oximetry is merely the beginning. Our agreement with Penell gives us confidence that Nonin will meet future marketplace challenges best addressed with leading-edge wireless technologies."

Nonin Medical, a privately owned company specialising in the design and manufacture of physiological monitoring solutions, distributes its products to health and medical professionals in more than 125 countries. Since 1986, Nonin has developed a broad product line of pulse oximeters, sensors, accessories and software for use by medical professionals. Its industry-leading capabilities in signal processing, sensor design and the innovative combination of features not available in competitive products have been key to its leadership in innovation.

Denmark-based Penell A/S is combines broad expertise in wireless technologies with considerable experience in developing electronics and software to meet the special requirements of medical and health care devices, as well as in meeting the technical and quality standards involved in regulatory approval procedures. Penell A/S is an independent subsidiary of RTX Telecom A/S, which has achieved a leading position internationally in the development and design of advanced wireless communications and information technologies.


Leslie Versweyveld

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