Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Patients receiving a range of medical therapies in healthcare settings frequently require the provision of an oxygen-rich air mixture (pure medical-grade oxygen mixed with filtered and humidified ambient air or PSA-generated oxygen).

Doctors and medical personnel are frequently required to accurately monitor and control air volume, gas concentration, rate of flow or pressure in real-time. This varies depending on the situation or the severity of the trauma being treated, but almost all these processes necessitate the measurement of oxygen concentration and air flow rate.

Oxygen concentration and flow rate measurement plays a crucial role in a range of treatment instruments and medical devices, with substantial air flow rates and up to 100% oxygen necessitating accurate measurements in many applications.

Cubic has dedicated more than 18 years’ of its research and development efforts to meeting the stringent gas sensing (quantity and quality) needs of medical and healthcare applications.

Cubic offers comprehensive solutions for oxygen and flow sensing, EtCO2 sensing, CO and CH4 sensing and lung function measurement. The company’s instruments leverage the power of robust technologies, including NDIR, ultrasonic methods, and electrochemical methods.

Ultrasonic oxygen and flow sensors for medical devices

There has been rapidly increasing demand for oxygen concentrators and medical ventilators since 2020 due to COVID-19, placing increased pressure on the healthcare sector. Oxygen and flow sensors for medical devices have therefore become an essential contributor to the work of medical ventilators and concentrators.

Oxygen concentration and flow rate measurement solutions from Cubic are frequently integrated in medical devices. This article provides guidance and best practice on selecting the most appropriate devices for medical healthcare monitoring.

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

Key medical applications

Cubic leverages its 18 years’ application experience to offer a comprehensive range of medical gas sensor products including:

  • Ultrasonic oxygen sensors
  • Ultrasonic oxygen and flow sensors - potential alternatives to conventional zirconia oxygen sensor
  • NDIR medical EtCO2 sensors
  • DLCO gas sensors
  • Lung function measurement devices

Medical gas sensors from Cubic see widespread use in:

  • Ventilators
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Oxygen generators
  • Anesthesia machines

They also play vital roles in several settings including:

  • PACU
  • ICU
  • EMS
  • Pre-hospital rescue
  • PAP therapy
  • HFNC therapy
Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

Oxygen ventilator

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

High-flow oxygen therapy

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

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Oxygen concentrator

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

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Anesthesia machine

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

Medical respiration monitor

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

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Leakage monitor

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

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The Gasboard-8500FS series ultrasonic 4-in-1 oxygen and flow sensor

The Gasboard-8500FS is Cubic’s ultrasonic technology 4-in-1 combined solution for medical ventilators. This device has been specifically developed to support healthcare providers worldwide in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The instrument can measure oxygen concentration, flow rate, temperature, and humidity in binary gases.

The Gasboard-8500FS measures flow rates up to 240 l/min and utilizes ultrasonic technology and TOF (time of flight) measurement to offer excellent performance and high accuracy; as well as a rapid response, no drift and routine calibration or maintenance requirements.

Working principles

The Gasboard-8500FS operates via the principle of ultrasonic flow detection. An ultrasonic wave is propagated in the fluid, and this wave is affected by fluid velocity.

Analysis of this wave provides information on velocity and flow rate. This is typically measured by detecting the received ultrasonic signal. Ultrasonic flow measurement does not impede the fluid flow.

The instrument also employs ultrasonic concentration detection theory, whereby the binary gas mixture composition exhibits a molecular weight difference, causing sound to travel at varying speeds depending on the gas composition.

Using gas sensors in the medical and healthcare industries

Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

Key features

Several key features make the Gasboard-8500FS ideal for use in medical ventilators, whether these demand expiratory, inspiratory or proximal operation. These include:

  • Robust ultrasonic measurement technology, suitable for oxygen concentration measurements and flow rates up to 240 l/min.
  • TOF (time of flight) measurement ensures continuous monitoring without the need for routine calibration and maintenance and no risk of drift.
  • Excellent stability, rapid response, and high accuracy
  • Humidity compensation and full-scale matrix temperature
  • Long working life with no consumables
  • Compact size and flexible installation possibilities
  • Excellent performance-cost-ratio
  • Suitable for installation with ultrasonic oxygen and flow sensors
Ultrasonic technology: Measure oxygen concentration and flow simultaneously.

Ultrasonic technology: Measure oxygen concentration and flow simultaneously. Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd

Ultrasonic oxygen and flow sensor installation

There are typically two types of installations for ultrasonic oxygen and flow sensors: By-Pass Design and In-mainstream Design.

Installation: Strong OEM and ODM solution design capacity.

Installation: Strong OEM and ODM solution design capacity. Image Credit: Cubic Sensor and Instrument Co. Ltd