Have you ever imagined having a smart phone that also doubles as your doctor? Well with the recent years of technological advancement, it’s possible that this invention will be accessible to the public in the near future.
Heart Rate Measurement
Recently I have gotten to thinking about whether we can use phone apps to measure our heart rate without fit bits. After doing searching and downloading multiple applications I found a few of them that seemed to be accurate and two of being “Health Mate” and “Cardiio”. Both apps use a method called photoplethysmography to find a person’s pulse. Photoplethysmography (PPG) is an optical technique that can measure the blood volume changes in your tissues using light such as your phones flash. Whenever your heart pumps your blood, your capillaries produce pulsatile blood flow, meaning that your blood doesn’t flow constantly it does it in pulses. The flash from your phone is absorbed whenever blood pulses which is how apps are able to recognize heart rates.
This is only one use of smart phones being for medicine. In the past years mobile x-ray devices have been in the works and Walabot is one of the first ones. It is a portable device that uses radio frequency to help people look through their walls for broken pipes or even look for rodent nests. Vayyar Imaging another company has created a chip that is compatible with the Walabot and can help use this device to medical purposes. The Vayyar chip is much more affordable alternative to x-ray machines that people can use at home. It was originally designed to help people in developing countries who may not have access to expensive x-ray machines. It can be used for detecting fractures or even cancer tumors. This technology is being added to hospitals in Israel, but who’s to say that soon it won’t be coming to our homes.
Overall, I think that this type of technology will be of great use to us in the future and that we should except to see more medical devices becoming portable and attachable to our smart phones.