Oxevision, an innovative vital signs monitoring system designed by the British company Oxehealth, will soon be available in the United States. The FDA recently granted a De Novo clearance for the Oxevision’s key technology: an optical sensor that can “see” a patient’s pulse and breathing rate.

When placed in a patient’s room, Oxehealth Vital Signs technology allows Oxevision to check pulse rate using photoplethysmography (PPG). Finger pulse oximeters also use PPG. This technology works by shining infrared light to illuminate color changes on the skin that occur with each pulse, which can’t be seen by the naked eye. Oxehealth has enhanced PPG capabilities in its Vital Signs product, detecting color changes on the skin from several meters away.

The system performs breathing rate readings by counting chest movements observed by the optical sensor. Oxevision also tracks movement in the room, sending alerts when a fall-risk patient gets in or out of bed, visits the restroom, leaves the room, or has an unauthorized visitor. The alerts help caregivers intervene before a fall or health event occurs. Oxevision’s optical sensor connects to a server where caregivers can review analytics about a patient’s sleep, risk reports, and other metrics.

Founded by former University of Oxford Dean of Engineering, Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Oxehealth has placed Oxivision in healthcare facilities across the UK and Europe. Having received De Novo clearance — a special safety clearance designed for unprecedented medical devices — Oxehealth is currently focusing on installing Oxevision in skilled nursing facilities in all 50 US states. The company eventually hopes to expand its US presence in the healthcare space to include hospitals, assisted living facilities, and behavioral health centers. This could also have important implications for remote patient monitoring at home and other telehealth applications.