Cell phone helps diagnose pneumonia

A researcher at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) is working on a project to reduce the cost of pulse oximeters by using the integrated camera of a mobile phone as a sensor.

Cell phone helps diagnose pneumonia
Cell phone helps diagnose pneumonia

A researcher at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) is working on a project to reduce the cost of pulse oximeters by using the integrated camera of a mobile phone as sensor. The novel approach could be used for diagnosis of sepsis and pneumonia in remote locations.

Pulse oximetry is a simple non-invasive method of monitoring the percentage of hemoglobin which is saturated with oxygen. Pulse oximeters usually comprise a probe attached to the patient's finger or ear lobe which is linked to a computer.

Dr. Walter Karlen's camera oximeter will use the built-in camera of a mobile phone to measure oxygen saturation, heart rate and respiratory rate. Software running on the phone will provide advice on the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.

Dr. Karlen is taking the oximeter to Africa to demonstrate that innovative and affordable technology can help to bridge the healthcare gap between Canada and low income countries.

A video describing Dr. Karlen's work can be seen here.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

More in Life Sciences