Monday, October 10, 2011
Smartphones can become health monitors (USA)
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., have expanded the medical reach of smartphones, developing an application that can turn the ubiquitous devices into vital sign monitors. Led by Ki H. Chon, PhD, professor and head of biomedical engineering at WPI, a team of researchers created an app that can measure the heart rate, rhythm, respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation using a phone's built-in camera. The researchers reported that the software can read vital signs as accurately as standard medical monitors currently in clinical use. "This gives a patient the ability to carry an accurate physiological monitor anywhere, without additional hardware beyond what's already included in many consumer mobile phones," the authors wrote. "One of the advantages of mobile phone monitoring is that it allows patients to make baseline measurements at any time, building a database that could allow for improved detection of disease states."