Updated on February 15, 2024


Created on August 1, 2019

Lifebox Pulse Oximeter

Upcoming Update

The Lifebox Pulse Oximeter is a device for monitoring oxygen saturation in low-resources settings.

Developed By
  1. Lifebox
Tested By
  • Duke University
  • Lifebox
  • University of California, San Francisco
Content Partners


Product Description

The Lifebox Pulse Oximeter is a rechargeable monitor for oxygen saturation that can be used for adults and children. It is especially designed for use in low-resource settings.

Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Lifebox, Mercy Ships, Smile Train are building partnerships with the manufacturer to distribute the pulse oximeter.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The pulse oximeter is manufactured by Acare Technology Co. Ltd. which specializes in monitoring and anesthesia devices.  

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

The pulse oximeter can be purchased directly from the manufacturer and is also distributed by partner NGOs (including Mercy Ships and Smile Train), national anesthesia societies and local facilities.

Distributions to Date Status

As of July, 2021, Lifebox has distributed 28,000 pulse oximeters in over 116 countries across the globe.


probes and batteries

Detection sensitivity

+/- 2%

Indispensable equipment for function (Y/N)


Maintenance or calibration required by user at time of use? (Y/N)


Number of Tests Performed


Power supply type: Continuous, Recharging only (V, time required, battery life), Other

Continuous, Recharging with the battery runtime of 14 hours

Time required for procedure (minutes)

Continuous monitoring

Design Specifications

The Lifebox Pulse Oximeter is designed for settings with inconsistent electrical power, as the charger protects the device from surges and the battery(3 AA Alkaline batteries or Lithium ion rechargeable battery) has a life of 14 hours in case of a power outage. It can be paired with two probes: a universal probe for 3+ months and a pediatric probe, both of which are included with the device purchase. The product has the following specifications: Pulse rate range: 25 - 250 bpm Resolution : 1 bpm It has a display type 2.4” color display 320 x 240 pixels with the following parameters on display; Digital SpO2, Pulse Rate, Pleth bar & SpO2 waveform    

Product Schematics

Technical Support

The first line of technical support is the instructional video, user manual, and troubleshooting guide. Additional support can be found by contacting the manufacturer.

Replacement Components

The product comes in a package that includes:

  • Pulse oximeter
  • Universal probe for 3+ months age
  • Pediatric probe
  • Pillow clip
  • Multi region charger
  • Multi language education DVD
These components can be replaced but the internal components of the oximeter cannot.


2+ years for the oximeter, 1 year for the probes Sterilization (with a cloth and disinfectant) is required and described in the user manual. Some maintenance is also required. Instructions for both are provided in the user manual.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Lifebox says their pulse oximeter

  • is suitable and sustainable for use under-resourced environments
  • is durable,
  • is able to survive severe voltage fluctuations when plugged in
  • has long-lasting battery for use during power outages
  • is easy to use
  • is inexpensive
  • is light and compact
  • is handheld
  • has a high resolution, 2.4” color display

Vetted Performance Status

There are no performance-specific accuracy data on this instrument. The accuracy of the Lifebox pulse oximeter is comparable to FDA-approved pulse oximeters designed for high income countries. The Lifebox oximeter was found to meet USA FDA 510(k) standards for the detection of hypoxia.


If surges more severe than  EN61000-4-5 +- 1KV line to line or +- 2KV line to ground are likely to occur, a surge protector should be used when charging the oximeter.  

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

Dubowitz G, Breyer K, Lipnick M, Sall JW, Feiner J, Ikeda K, Macleod DB, Bickler PE. Accuracy of the Lifebox pulse oximeter during hypoxia in healthy volunteers. Anaesthesia. 2013;68(12):1220–1223.

Finch LC, Kim RY, Ttendo S, Kiwanuka JK, Walker IA, Wilson IH, Weiser TG, Berry WR, Gawande AA. Evaluation of a large-scale donation of Lifebox pulse oximeters to non-physician anaesthetists in Uganda. Anaesthesia. 2014;69(5):445–451.

Desalu I, Diakparomre OI, Salami AO, Abiola AO. The effect of nail polish and acrylic nails on pulse oximetry reading using the Lifebox oximeter in Nigeria. The Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2013;20(4).

Enright A, Merry A, Walker I, Wilson I. Lifebox: A Global Patient Safety Initiative. A & A Case Reports. 2016;6(12):366–369.

Lifebox. “FDA-standard for the low-resource setting“, 2013

Compliance with regulations

The Lifebox Pulse oximeter complies with the World Health Organization and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists standards for suitable application in under-resourced environments.  

Evaluation methods

The accuracy of the Lifebox pulse oximeter was compared against arterial hemoglobin oxygen saturation by academic researchers. It was also compared in accuracy to FDA-approved pulse oximeters.

Other Information


Comments from the Community


  1. CarolineS_Fellow says:

    It is important to consider the battery life per charge cycle as resource constrained environments are constantly handling high volumes of patients and limited access to medical devices and staff. It would be ideal for the battery to last up to 8-12 hours or more to account for extended usage in these environments. It is also important to consider whether preventative maintenance is required throughout the 2 year lifetime of the product and the level of training that would be required for technical staff to perform on-site repairs. Additionally, if the probes are intended to be reusable than they must be able to be able to withstand cleaning methods used in the target settings.

  2. CarolineS_Fellow says:

    Academic literature and evaluation is extensive for a product designed for use in resource constrained clinic environments.

  3. CarolineS_Fellow says:

    Additionally, this product requires a reliable source of power.

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


January 10, 2024

Hydraid® BioSand Filter

Read Solution

Implemented by



December 1, 2023

Jaipur Foot

Read Solution

Implemented by

SMS Medical College Hospital (Ram Chandra Sharma with the team of doctors)


January 2, 2024


Read Solution

Implemented by



December 29, 2023

LifeWell Water Filter

Read Solution

Implemented by



November 24, 2023


Read Solution

Implemented by

Dolphin CPAP


December 28, 2023

Mimi Moto

Read Solution

Implemented by

Mimi Moto


March 6, 2024


Read Solution

Implemented by

Partners in Health


December 19, 2023

PATH Disposable Syringe Jet Injector (DSJI)

Read Solution

Implemented by



February 5, 2024

PermaNet 2.0

Read Solution

Implemented by



December 12, 2023

Sohum Hearing Screening Device

Read Solution

Implemented by

Sohum Innovation lab

All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member