Pulse Oximetry and the Legacy of Dr. Takuo Aoyagi

Pre-Conference Event – Lecture 1
Date: 6 May 2023, Saturday (GMT+8) | 5 May 2023, Friday (GMT-5)
Time: 0900 (GMT+8) | 2000 (GMT-5)
Speaker: Katsuyuki Miyasaka, MD


Pulse oximetry was invented by Dr. Aoyagi of Nihon Kohden Inc. in 1974. He passed away in April 2020, but he continued his efforts to improve the accuracy of pulse oximetry to his last days, because, as the inventor, he felt a social responsibility to guarantee its accuracy.

According to Dr. Aoyagi, pulse oximetry has a principle, but no theory. Pulse oximeters cannot be calibrated theoretically but are calibrated empirically by making healthy adult volunteers hypoxemic. The convenience of pulse oximetry is based on several assumptions and its accuracy is generally claimed ± 2% at best. Widespread use of pulse oximeters outside the OR introduced new issues that will be discussed.