Masimo paints pulse oximetry tech onto GE HealthCare's Portrait patient monitoring system

More than a decade into their partnership, Masimo and GE HealthCare are still finding new ways to combine their respective patient monitoring technologies.

In the latest expansion of their collaboration, the duo has agreed to layer Masimo’s signature pulse oximetry technology into GE HealthCare’s newly FDA-cleared Portrait Mobile portable monitoring system.

The Portrait Mobile system was originally launched with GE HealthCare’s own TruSignal sensors to monitor blood oxygen saturation. Now, healthcare provider users will have the option to add in Masimo’s Signal Extraction Technology (SET) pulse oximetry, which, according to the companies’ Wednesday announcement, has been proven in dozens of studies to outperform competing sensors specifically in cases of low perfusion and when patients are in motion—the latter of which is a key element of the wearable Portrait Mobile system, as it’s designed to come along as patients move throughout a hospital while recovering from surgeries and ICU stays.

“Portrait Mobile is built as an open platform, with the capability to be compatible with other technologies. The ability to integrate Masimo’s innovative SET pulse oximetry in a wearable sensor demonstrates the flexibility and scalability of our new platform while leveraging Masimo’s measurement expertise,” Neal Sandy, GE’s general manager of monitoring solutions, said in the release.

The Portrait Mobile system has been CE-marked for use in Europe since it was unveiled by GE HealthCare in mid-2022, and it earned a stateside clearance this summer.

In addition to pulse oximetry, which is measured using a traditional fingertip sensor, the monitor also tracks other vital signs including respiratory and pulse rate through adhesive patches placed on the chest. Both sets of sensors are wireless and continuously transmit their readings via Bluetooth to a separate monitor that’s about the size of a smartphone and can fit in a patient’s pocket—and which transmits its own compiled data to another dashboard for clinician review.

The system’s around-the-clock readings are meant to be an upgrade to traditional in-hospital monitoring methods, which typically check on patients’ vital signs only once every few hours. The Portrait Mobile approach, in contrast, allows nurses and doctors to track patients’ progress in real time, so they can step in as soon as any signs of a worsening condition appear.

According to GE HealthCare, complications associated with post-surgery deterioration are largely avoidable if caught early enough, but can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if overlooked—with 30-day post-surgery mortality making up the world’s third most common cause of death.

“Clinicians and patients will see the real benefit as Portrait Mobile enhances clinical decision-making for mobile patients and ultimately, supports earlier detection of deterioration,” Sandy said in this week’s announcement.

GE HealthCare first tapped into Masimo’s pulse oximetry expertise in 2012, when the duo inked their long-term partnership agreement.

At the time, GE laid out broad plans to integrate Masimo’s Rainbow SET technology—which provides continuous, noninvasive tracking of a broad spectrum of health data, including total hemoglobin, oxygen content, perfusion index and pulse rate, among several others—into a variety of its patient monitoring devices.

Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify that Masimo's SET technology will serve as an additional pulse oximetry option for Portrait Mobile users, rather than a replacement to the existing TruSignal sensors.