Significance: Measurement and imaging of hemoglobin oxygenation are used extensively in the detection and diagnosis of disease; however, the applied instruments vary widely in their depth of imaging, spatiotemporal resolution, sensitivity, accuracy, complexity, physical size, and cost. The wide variation in available instrumentation can make it challenging for end users to select the appropriate tools for their application and to understand the relative limitations of different methods.
Aim: We aim to provide a systematic overview of the field of hemoglobin imaging and sensing.
Approach: We reviewed the sensing and imaging methods used to analyze hemoglobin oxygenation, including pulse oximetry, spectral reflectance imaging, diffuse optical imaging, spectroscopic optical coherence tomography, photoacoustic imaging, and diffuse correlation spectroscopy.
Results: We compared and contrasted the ability of different methods to determine hemoglobin biomarkers such as oxygenation while considering factors that influence their practical application.
Conclusions: We highlight key limitations in the current state-of-the-art and make suggestions for routes to advance the clinical use and interpretation of hemoglobin oxygenation information.

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