A camera in your smartphone is compulsory these days, how times have changed! Well, did you know that instead of just taking pretty photos with your smartphone, there is another way to harness its imaging quality – that is to use the camera and some specialized software to detect one’s breathing rate, pulse and blood oxygen saturation? A researcher from Worcester Polytechnic Institute spearheaded this idea by working on a smartphone app that does just that, using nothing but the phone’s built-in camera.
It will analyze video clips recorded whenever the patient’s fingertip is pressed against the camera’s lens, and similar to a standard clinical pulse oximeter, it will capture small changes in light reflected by the pulsing blood in the capillaries. These changes will be translated to actual vital signs thanks to the use of algorithms that are often found in professional devices.
You won’t find an iPhone behind the scenes here, as testing took place with a Motorola Droid handset instead. Seems like an interesting bit of news, no? I wonder just how far more can smartphones go in terms of medical capability. [Press Release]
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