Nihon Kohden senior manager Dr Takuo Aoyagi has received the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology. The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

Each year, this honor is awarded to an individual, a team of individuals, or multiple recipients for outstanding contributions or innovations in engineering within the fields of medicine, biology, and healthcare technology. Aoyagi was selected for his pioneering contributions to pulse oximetry, which have had a profound impact on healthcare. Aoyagi’s invention, first published in 1974, has driven a new era of patient safety during anesthesia and is recognized as the standard of care for the assessment of oxygenation, spanning virtually every domain of medical practice.

In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized pulse oximetry as the most important lifesaving practice during surgery. Since then, WHO has initiated the “Global Pulse Oximetry Project” to ensure that every patient undergoing surgery is monitored with pulse oximetry.

“With the brightest minds in medical technology, Nihon Kohden has helped shape the face of the medical device market, and continues to do so. Dr Aoyagi’s accomplishment is but one example of Nihon Kohden’s legacy of innovation and the positive impact we have on healthcare delivery worldwide,” says Wilson Constantine, Nihon Kohden America CEO, in a release.

Aoyagi joined Tokyo-based Nihon Kohden Corporation in 1971 as a manager of the development department and was promoted to general manager in 1985. He has served as a senior manager of his namesake, the Aoyagi Research Laboratory since 1991. In his current capacity at Nihon Kohden Corporation, Aoyagi continues to explore oxygen-monitoring technologies for the advancement of diagnosis, treatment, and improved patient safety.

“Dr Aoyagi invented one of the most important technologies for patient safety,“ says Kazuo Ogino, chairman of the board, Nihon Kohden Corporation. “All of us at Nihon Kohden congratulate him on this well-deserved honor. We continue to develop innovative technologies that lead to improvements in healthcare quality.“

Aoyagi is joined in the picture by (left to right) IEEE president-elect Barry Shoop, IEEE EMB president Andrew Laine, and IEEE president Howard Michel. (Photo courtesy Business Wire)