Covidien triggers U.S. rollout of updated patient monitoring system

Covidien ($COV) is debuting U.S. commercial sales of its new bedside patient monitoring system, following the FDA's 510(k) clearance of the device earlier this month.

The updated Nellcor Bedside SpO2 patient monitoring system will be marketed to hospitals to monitor blood oxygen levels and pulse rates in adult, pediatric and neonatal patients. Covidien bills the product as being able to ferret out subtle variations of pulse and blood oxygen levels faster than other products, so physicians can tackle any respiratory complications sooner than they otherwise would. And in an age of healthcare providers increasingly looking for products that can maintain quality care but also save money, Covidien plays up that angle, too, noting that providers can maintain the device with their own personnel inside the hospital.

The product, Covidien has said previously, will work with Philips Healthcare's IntelliVue patient monitoring system.

Covidien released the news of the 510(k) approval a few days after its 2012 second-quarter financials revealed a 15% drop in profits compared to 2011. Still, the company exceeded analysts' expectations, boosting revenue by about 3% with surging sales from products, such as the company's medical staplers.

Those staplers attracted regulatory attention of a different sort in late June, however. The FDA issued a warning letter to Covidien for not acting quickly to address reports of problems with its Duet tissue reinforcement system.

- read the 510(k) announcement