Covidien (NYSE:COV) landed CE Mark approval in the European Union for its Nellcor system used to help doctors detect early warning signs of respiratory complications in patients.
The Nellcor software tracks changes in patients’ pulse oximetry signals to determine respiration rate changes, allowing clinicians to head off potentially life-threatening respiratory problems.
"Despite its clinical importance, current methods of respiration rate monitoring are not always adequate," Dr. Scott Kelley, Covidien’s chief medical officer, said in prepared remarks. "Instead of merely knowing a patient’s blood oxygen levels, we can now look at aspects of ventilation, or the passing of air into and out of the body. This gives dedicated care teams a more complete picture of a patient’s respiratory status, so they can provide effective treatment and maintain patient safety."
Covidien intends to start a limited market release in Jan. 2012.
Last week, the company announced plans to spin out its no-growth pharmaceuticals business into a stand-alone business over the next 18 months.
The announcement sent the Mansfield, Mass.-based health products giant’s shares up more than 4% to $43.90. CEO José Almeida said Covidien has been considering a separation for years and decided to pull the trigger now that the pharma unit has been fine-tuned.
The move should improve Covidien’s adjusted gross margin from 57.1% with pharma to 60.0% without.