Pulse oximetry is used for a number of indications such as endotracheal intubation, cardiac arrests, procedural sedation, asthma/COPD, respiratory complaints, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sleep disorders/sleep apnea, and shunts in cyanotic heart diseases.

According to the latest market research report by Technavio on the global pulse oximetry market, chronic respiratory disorders such as COPD, asthma, and OSA are increasing at an alarming rate in both developed and developing countries—driving the pulse ox market.

Asthma is the most common disorder accounting for six to seven in every 1000 deaths annually, worldwide. In the Asia Pacific region, asthma is increasing rapidly in low and middle-income countries. Such increase in respiratory disorders can be attributed to the high prevalence of smoking and increased exposure to risk factors such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, occupational dust and fumes. These factors are increasing the demand for pulse oximeters, which, in turn, is driving the growth of the global pulse oximetry market.

Technological advancements such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), miniaturized photodetectors, and microprocessors have allowed the development of new generation pulse oximeters which are significantly cheaper, smaller and easier to use. Competitors in the market are significantly investing in R&D to develop technologically advanced pulse oximeters, according to Technavio.