Biomedical Shields


AFE4490 Pulse Oximeter Shield Kit for Arduino


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This product has been replaced by a newer version available here.

Measuring SpO2 aka Specific Oxygen levels in blood has never been so easy! With the new AFE4490 IC our shield does an amazing job of measuring heart rate as well as SpO2 values. 

Pulse Oximetry is an indirect method of measuring the oxygen levels in the blood. The sensor measures the amount of red and IR light wavelengths absorbed by blood to calculate the oxygen levels in blood. The measurement is done by a probe that clips on to a finger and contains emitters as well as a light sensor.


With finger


For more information on how exactly Pulse Oximetry works click here

Since the amount of blood flowing through any blood vessel varies (pulses) with the rate of blood from the heart, this can also be used for measuring heartrate without the need for connecting any ECG electrodes. 

Important Note: This is only a prototyping board meant for the design and evaluation of SpO2 and is not meant to be used as a medical diagnostic device.




 Resolution (Bits)



 Sample Rate (max) (SPS)



 # Input Channels



 Dynamic Range (dB)



 Analog Voltage AV/DD (Min) (V)



 Analog Voltage AV/DD (Max) (V)



 Digital Interface

Serial SPI    


 Operating Temperature Range (C)

-40 to 85    

0 to 70    

Kits contents

  •  ProtoCentral Pulse Oximetry shield for Arduino-1
  •  Set of stackable Arduino headers-1
  • "Nellcor compatible" Pulse oximetry finger probe-1


  • TI AFE4400 Single chip pulse pulsoximetry front-end IC
  • Standard Nellcor compatible DB7 connector for probe
  • Calculates Spo2 values with provided code
  • Real-time display of PPG (Photoplethysmogram)

Using Processing - Data Visualization Software (New!) 

Processing is a data visualization software, in existence since 2001, used by artists and scientists alike. Its an open source coding framework based on Java. If you are familiar with the Arduino environment, the Processing IDE is similar and you wont have much of a learning curve to climb!

The following are the steps to run the code:

 1. Download Processing for your operating system

Download the processing ide latest version from the link

* [MAC

* [Linux 32-bit

* [Linux 64-bit

* [Windows 32-bit

* [Windows 64-bit

Once downloaded, unzip the archive and install the app as per your OS. 

2. Download the Processing code for Pulse Oximeter visualization

a. Download the necessary files & directories or clone to your desktop from GitHub.

b. Unzipping the archive should make a folder by name AFE4400 Oximeter Shield that contains the visualization code.

c. Locate the Processing sketchbook directory on your computer. This should have been created automatically when you installed processing. Depending on your operating system, the path will be as follows:

* On Windows: c:/My Documents/Processing/

* On MAC: /Users/your_user_name/Documents/Processing/

* On Linux: /Home/your_user_name/sketchbook/

**Note:** This directory appears as "Processing" on Windows/Mac, and goes by the name "Sketchbook" on Linux. Create a subdirectory by name "libraries" if one doesn't exist already.

d. From the above mentioned "AFE4490_Oximeter-master" directory Copy/Move the contents of the AFE4490_Oximeter-master/Processing/ces_view_oximeter folder to the Processing sketchbook directory which is also mentioned above (Locate the Processing sketchbook)

e. Finally, copy the G4P directories from AFE4490_Oximeter-masterProcessinglibraries and paste them into the libraries directory of your Processing sketchbook.

f. You are all set now to get your first PPG wave form and SpO2 reading visualized from the AFE4400 Oximeter Shield!

3. Uploading Arduino Sketch For AFE4490 Oximeter Shield

a. Open the Arduino IDE to load the embedded code for AFE4490 Oximeter Shield.

b. Click on File -> Open and Browse the .ino code for Arduino from AFE4490_Oximeter-masterLibrariesProcessing_sketchIR_RED and export the application to Arduino.

 4. Open Processing & launch the ces_view_oximeter

a. If Processing IDE was open, close it and reopen to refresh the libraries and sketches. The repositories are not refreshed if the IDE was open while the Sketches and Libraries were being updated.

b. Double-click any of the .pde files in the ces_view_oximeter directory to open all of the pulse oximeter code in the Processing IDE.

c. If everything done so far was good, clicking the "run" button on the top left corner of the IDE, should run the code! If it does not, make sure you installed your libraries correctly.

d. Once the GUI is running, select the port connect with pulse oximeter shield from the "SELECT PORT" dropdown as shown in the figure below ![Port Selection]

e. Once the port selection is appropriate the START button gets enabled. Click "START" to initiate visualization

f. You should see the PPG ( RED and IR) waves generated with the values obtained from the AFE4400 Oximeter Shield Breakout Board as shown below. ![PPG Wave Form in Processing]


Schematics, designs and software including Arduino libraries can be downloaded from Github:

License Information

This product is open source! Both, our hardware and software are open source and licensed under the following licenses:


All hardware is released under Creative Commons Share-alike 4.0 International. CC-BY-SA-4.0


All software is released under the MIT License(

Please check for detailed license descriptions.