Nonin Medical Honored by the United States Air Force for its Role in the F-22 Life Support System Task Force
Nonin Medical, Inc., the inventor of fingertip pulse oximetry and a leader in noninvasive medical monitoring, announced today that 15 employees have received the United States Air Force Director’s Award for their role in helping the Air Force return the F-22 Raptor, the world’s most advanced fighter jet, to active service. The award was signed by Major General Charles Lyon, Air Combat Command Director of Operations, and by Colonel Gregory Gutterman, F-22 System Program Director.
The F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. The Air Force grounded its F-22 fleet after reports that some Raptor pilots were experiencing temporary physiological symptoms that at the time were thought to be associated with low blood oxygen saturation.
"The Air Force chose Nonin pulse oximeters and sensors to help with its investigation because of our devices’ ability to accurately and reliably measure oxygen saturation and pulse rate under extremely challenging conditions,” said Mark VanderWerf, Vice-President of eHealth and OEM for Nonin Medical. “Nonin employees, including those in engineering, quality, technical service and marketing worked closely with the Air Force to ensure that our products exceeded their expectations for accuracy and reliability," VanderWerf said.
Nonin provided the Air Force with the WristOx2® Model 3150 wrist-worn pulse oximeter and the Model 8000J sensor. The Air Force mounted the 8000J sensor inside the pilots’ helmets and the 3150 to the flight suit so they could monitor the pilots' blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate throughout the duration of each flight, but especially during strenuous F-22 maneuvers. The sensor sent the data back to the Nonin WristOx2 pulse oximeter, which displayed the data and stored it for later downloading and reporting. The data collected from pilots helped the Air Force rule out low blood oxygen saturation as a cause of pilot physiological symptoms. Investigators later determined that malfunctioning valves in the pressurized flight suits were un-necessarily restricting pilot breathing and causing the symptoms. The Air Force corrected the problem and returned its Raptor fleet to full operation earlier this year.
"Nonin Medical is proud to have played an important role in the F-22 Life Support System Task Force," said VanderWerf. "Our talented and dedicated employees helped the Air Force keep its pilots safe, return the Raptor to full mission capable status and restore confidence in the F-22 Raptor as the most technically advanced fighter jet employed to keep the United States secure."
Nonin Medical, Inc. invented the finger pulse oximeter (the original Onyx® brand) and designs and manufactures noninvasive medical monitoring solutions that meet customers’ technology needs today and tomorrow. Headquartered in Plymouth, Minn., USA, with an additional customer service center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Nonin Medical sells its pulse and regional oximeters, capnographs, sensors and software to health professionals and consumers in more than 125 countries. The company has more than 300 OEM partners worldwide. For more information, visit nonin.com.