DIY Pulse Oximeter

Project Overview

In this project, you will learn how to build a working pulse oximeter using an Arduino Nano with the MAX30102 sensor module on a breadboard. This project is a great project to get started with learning how to use a breadboard, making electronic connections, and learning how to use arduino code.

Parts Need for the DIY Pulse Oximeter

To build your DIY Pulse Oximeter you will need the following parts (or equivalents)

Arduino Program

Download the Arduino Nano program from this link – DIY Pulse Oximeter Project Folder

Upload the Arduino program using the Arduino IDE. 

What is Pulse Oximetry?

SP02 monitors, also known as pulse oximeters, are essential medical devices used to measure blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rates non-invasively. They utilize a technique called pulse oximetry, which involves emitting light wavelengths through body tissues and detecting the absorption patterns to determine oxygen saturation levels.

SP02 monitors are widely employed in various medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home healthcare environments. They are commonly integrated into patient monitoring systems, respiratory therapy devices, and wearable fitness trackers to provide real-time health data. 

For this project, we are going to build a pulse oximeter on a breadboard.

Electrical Connections

The electrical connections are shown on the schematic below.

Breadboards and Circuits

If you need help learning to prototype circuits on a breadboard check out the video tutorial below

Pulse Oximeter Breadboard Connections

Use the image below to connect your breadboard, jumper wires, and electrical components as shown. Remember it’s the connections that matter!

Challenges to Pulse Oximetry

While SP02 monitors offer valuable insights into a patient’s oxygen saturation levels and pulse rates, there are several challenges and considerations to address when using these devices:

  • Motion Artifacts: Movement and motion can introduce inaccuracies in SP02 readings, especially in portable or wearable devices. Testing the sensor’s ability to filter out motion artifacts and maintain accuracy during activity is essential.

  • Ambient Light Interference: External light sources can interfere with the sensor’s readings, particularly in outdoor or brightly lit environments. Evaluating the sensor’s performance under varying light conditions and implementing measures to mitigate interference is critical.

  • Patient Variability: Individual differences in skin tone, perfusion levels, and physiological conditions can affect the accuracy of SP02 readings. Testing the sensor’s performance across a diverse range of patients and conditions ensures reliability and consistency in clinical settings. 

You can learn more about troubleshooting this project and using our advanced viewer with the video below

You can access the project files for the SP02 Viewer on our GitHub Page

Printed Circuit Board Design

If you want to take your designs to the next level check out our video on how to create the DIY SP02 Circuit on a printed circuit board. Full Playlist is available here