Pulse Oximetry Development

Development & Creativity

The Evolution of Pulse Oximetry

Pulse oximetry has been one of the most impactful innovations in anesthesia and critical care. The safety of anesthesia world-wide has been improved since its introduction. It was not, however, invented overnight and there have been many stepwise monumental milestones that have led to the modern pulse oximeter that we all use today.

Pulse oximetry stems back to the 1860s, when hemoglobin was discovered to be the oxygen carrier in blood by Stokes. 70 years later, Matthes developed the first oxygen saturation meter, which used a 2-wavelength light source with red and green filters. One of the main issues with this device was its difficult calibration. This was solved by the late 1930s by Squire, who created a self-calibrating oximeter. In the 1940s, British scientist Millikan introduced the first aviation ear oximeter, which was used in pilot training in World War II. A few years later, at Mayo Clinic, Wood had improved this device with the addition of an inflatable balloon to stop blood flow for calibration. In 1964, Hewlett Packard used eight wavelengths of light to further enhance the oximeter, however due to its size and cost, it was mainly used in sleep laboratories. Then, in 1972, through the monumental work of Takuo Aoyagi, a Japanese bioengineer, oximetry finally became clinically feasible. He had developed a pulse oximeter based on the ratio of red to infrared light absorption in blood. In fact, this technology is still used in today’s pulse oximeters. Finally, in 1977, the company Minolta marketed the first pulse oximeter, which drove the market to improve oximetry technology. By 1986, pulse oximetry had become the standard of care in American operating rooms and quickly spread to other hospital units in subsequent years.

YONKER Pulse Oximeter Development

Since the launch of the first fingertip pulse oximeter product in 2009, YONKER Medical has established a complete line of oximeter products covering fingertip pulse oximeter, handheld pulse oximeter, and desktop oximeter. After more than ten years of deep cultivation in home medical channels, Xuzhou Yongkang Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. has become a leading company in the field of oximeters. Its product sales cover more than 140 countries and regions around the world, and it has developed close relationships with several world-renowned companies. Through cooperation, the products have entered millions of households around the world.

YONKER Medical relies on two R&D centers in Shenzhen and Xuzhou. As a product-leading enterprise, 10% of its annual sales revenue is invested in product R&D technology upgrades and new product development. There are nearly 100 models of blood oxygen products. At present, it has nearly 200 patents and authorized trademarks, among which overseas Patents and trademarks account for more than 11%, and the subdivided population covers from newborns, children, adults, and the elderly. The sensor uses advanced American sensors, and the self-developed digital chip integration solution can be based on Different signals reflected by different skin colors are adaptively optimized to achieve the purpose of accurate measurement.


Milestones of Pulse Oximeter


The first fingertip pulse oximeter came out.


Patent for utility models issued by China National Intellectural Property Administration


Design Patent issued by China National Intellectural Property Administration.


  • Fingertip pulse oximeter obtained TUV CE certificate.
  • Table-top oximeter and handheld pulse oximeter came out.


  • Fingertip pulse oximeter was approved by US FDA.
  • The smallest and lightest fingertip pulse oximeter designed for pediatric was launched.


United States Design Patent


  • China government appointed official pulse oximeter manufacturer.
  • Established production line of fingertip pulse oximeter for Braun.


  • RoHS certification obtained
  • Design Patent issued by European Union Intellectual Property Office.
  • Annual volume of export exceeded 10 million pieces, ranging to TOP 2 pulse oximeter supplier.


The first circular screen design for fingertip pulse oximeter in the market.