The changing CO2 content of a breath creates a waveform shape of the inhalation and exhalation that has been established as an indicator for several medical conditions. Called capnography, the equipment needed to detect this is large, expensive, and mains-powered, which has restricted its use to monitoring anaesthesia in operating theatres and critical care.
Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) is changing this with its CO2 sensor technology. The company uses a specially developed LED as the light source at the heart of the sensor. As this can turn on and off almost instantaneously, readings can be taken at more than 50 times a second. Also, the LED requires very little power, enabling battery-powered CO2 sensing devices to be created with long battery lives.
This breakthrough in CO2 sensing is being commercialized for the medical market by GSS' sister company, Cambridge Respiratory Innovations Limited (CRiL). GSS has exclusively developed an ultra-fast, compact version of its SprintIR 6S CO2 sensor for CRiL to provide the level of accuracy needed to produce detailed waveforms and to work in the challenging medical environment. This has enabled CRiL to develop a hand-held personal respiratory monitor, called N-Tidal™, which analyses CO2 levels in normal tidal breathing. For more details, visit Gas Sensing Solutions.