Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Its Potential for Point-Of-Care Testing

Rammohan V Maikala


Point-of-care or ‘near-patient’ testing has received attention in recent years for its usefulness in rapid and reliable delivery of healthcare to a patient in a variety of clinical settings. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-derived optical biomarkers (e.g., tissue oxygen saturation) have been utilized to monitor tissue vascularity and oxygenation status continuously in normal and patient populations. Despite its ease of use and modest cost, the NIRS modality is still not at point-of-care use in the healthcare sector as extensively as other physiological modalities such as Pulse Oximetry. This short communication examines the case for point-of-care testing with two examples of FDA-approved NIRS systems, and discusses the feasibility and implementation of the NIRS modality as a point-of-care technology.

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