• The technology described in this briefing is the Nasal Alar SpO2 sensor. It is used for monitoring a person's peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) with a pulse oximeter.

  • The innovative aspects are that it is currently the only sensor designed to detect SpO2 at the nasal ala (the fleshy part of the nose). This is designed to improve accuracy and reliability in people who have poor peripheral perfusion (low blood flow).

  • The intended place in therapy would be as an alternative to earlobe, nasal bridge and forehead sensors when conventional digit pulse oximeter sensors do not work or are inappropriate (such as in people with poor peripheral perfusion).

  • The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 1 published US accuracy study and 2 published abstracts involving a total of 135 healthy volunteers and patients in clinical and research settings. They suggest that the Nasal Alar SpO2 sensor is at least as accurate as digit oximetry, and may be more reliable than forehead sensors.

  • Key uncertainties around the evidence are that the evidence base is still developing and is limited to small, non-randomised studies in non-UK settings.

  • The cost of the Nasal Alar SpO2 sensor is £20.62 per unit (exclusive of VAT). The resource impact would be that using the device would cost more than standard digit sensors. This cost may be offset if it allowed a longer duration of use, reduced nursing time or if it could provide an oximetry reading when other devices do not work.